Colorado Notary Rule Changes
Several changes to Colorado Notary Rules became effective on November 30, 2014. Colorado notaries must follow Colorado notary laws, written by the state legislature, and notary rules, promulgated by the Secretary of State (SOS), the notary regulator.
When state laws and notary rules are silent on a topic, notaries should use reasonable care, and follow common law and notary best practices. The Model Notary Act of 2010, published by the National Notary Association, contains notary best practices.
Notary rule changes include repeals of prior definitions of “best practices“, “renewing applicant” and “notary’s electronic signature”. Clarifications and amendments were made to the definitions of “new applicant”, “Document Authentication Number“, and “electronic notarization“.
All notary filings are required to be submitted using the SOS online filing system. Questions on the notary exam will be based on the Colorado Notaries Public Act (CRS 12-55), Titles and Interests (CRS 38-30), Initiatives and Referendum (CRS 1-40) and the SOS Notary Handbook.
Several rules regarding electronic notarization were changed. Electronic notaries should read the new rules for electronic notarization (e-notarization) and electronic signatures.
Notary training rules clarify that “widely accepted best practices” must include the role of the notary and notarizations for the elderly. The expiration date for an approved notary training vendor is no longer required to be displayed on the seal of accreditation.
The list of students who have completed an approved notary training course must be kept by the training vendor, to be supplied to the SOS upon request. The notary student identification requirements have been reduced for notary training vendors. Notary training vendors must submit copies of any substantial changes to the curriculum within 30 days.
For Colorado notaries, the main impact of the notary rule changes is to study the procedures for notarizing a petition and for electronic notarization. A copy of the notary rules is posted on the SOS website.