Under Colorado notary law, a notary is authorized to administer an oath or affirmation to a document signer or a witness. An oath or affirmation is usually administered to a document signer, to certify that the statements written on a document are true and correct.
Then the notary completes a notarial certificate, called a jurat, that is attached to the sworn statement. An affidavit is a common type of sworn statement. An oath or affirmation is part of the process for completing a sworn statement.
A notary may administer an oath or affirmation without a document being signed, such as when a witness is placed under oath to give testimony. The testimony may be made in a telephone hearing. Some courts and hearings allow a witness to be sworn in by a notary while a judge, magistrate or hearing officer in another city or state is listening on the telephone.
Before the telephone call begins, the notary will meet in person with the witness, verify the identification of the witness, and make an entry of the oral oath or affirmation in the notary journal. Additional information may include the court name and case number. The witness will add his/her signature to the notary journal and the notary may also get a thumbprint from the witness.
When the telephone call is connected, the judge will ask the notary to provide information such as the notary’s name and commission expiration date. Then the notary will follow instructions to place the witness under oath, while the judge listens on the telephone. After the oath is administered, the notary will be dismissed and is not required to hear the testimony.
Sample Oath for Witness
“Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear (or affirm), that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth [so help you God]?
Please state your full name.”
Colorado law, CRS 24-12-103, under State Government Administration, states that all notaries public shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses and to administer all oaths of office and other oaths required to be taken by any person upon any lawful occasion.
Colorado law, CRS 12-55-110(1)(b), under the Notaries Public Act, states that every notary public is empowered to administer oaths and affirmations.
Persons who are not notaries or other authorized officials should not give oaths or affirmations if they are not authorized by law.
Some organizations or associations may hold hearings or tribunals to investigate complaints regarding violations of bylaws, governing documents, ethics, professional standards, etc. A notary may be used to administer an oath to a witness testifying at a hearing.
In Colorado, notaries are also authorized to take written testimony in the form of an affidavit or deposition. The procedure for taking a deposition will require additional knowledge, skills, and training, or the services of a court reporter.
Audio and Video Recording
Some notaries become legal videographers and take testimony by video camera recorder or by digital voice recorder (DVR). The recorded audio testimony is then transcribed to text. Then the witness reads the written transcription to confirm it is correct and signs it as a sworn statement before a notary.
Video recordings provide additional information by allowing observation of the body language, facial expressions and non-verbal communication of the witness. The videographer should be skilled in video equipment setup, operation, video formats, lighting, backgrounds, and proper use and positioning of microphones.
Corporations, LLCs, HOAs and associations may wish to establish a relationship with a notary to administer the oath of office to elected directors and officers, to administer an oath to a witness for hearings, tribunals, affidavits, depositions, and to notarize records such as minutes of meetings, a Certificate of Incumbency listing the current officers, contracts, leases, financial statements, employment applications and business record affidavits.
[Last-Modified Date 2017-03-18] add new image, page links
Oath for Witness Testimony
Oath for Witness Testimony