Colorado law authorizes a notary to make a certified copy or a certificate of notary record.
CRS 12-55-110 Powers and limitations. (1) Every notary public is empowered to:
(c) Give certificates or other statements as to a notarial act performed by such notary. Such acts shall include, but are not limited to, the giving of certificates as to, or certified copies of, any record or other document relating to a notarial act performed by such notary and
certifying that a copy of a document is a true copy of another document or that a facsimile is a true facsimile of another document in accordance with section 12-55-120.
CRS 12-55-111. Journal. (1) Every notary public shall keep a journal of every notarial act of the notary and, if required, give a certified copy of or a certificate as to any such journal or any of the notary’s acts, upon payment of the notary’s fee.
Maintaining Privacy of Notary Records
A notary should maintain the privacy of customer transactions in notary records. But, the law says a notary shall, if required, give a certified copy or a certificate of notary record of a notary act.
The law does not define “required.” It is likely this means when required by law under a court order, or subpoena, or to aid law enforcement in an investigation.
Notary journals are private and the public at large should not view journal entries. When asking a customer to sign the notary journal, previous journal entries should be covered to prevent unauthorized viewing of confidential information.
When making a certified copy of a single journal entry, cover up the other entries. Describe the volume and page number where the entry was found.
It is reasonable to accommodate a request for a certificate of notary record from the principal or signer of a transaction, or their authorized agent. But, it is not reasonable to accommodate a request from a snooping family member, friend, neighbor or another party, who is not a party to the transaction.
In some cases, such as administering an oath of office, or an oath for witness testimony, there may not be a corresponding signed document.
Situations, where a notary act could not be completed for some reason, should also be entered in the notary journal. The certificate of notary record might say “unable to notarize power of attorney for John Doe due to lack of proper identification“.
The notary journal should be kept secure and out of view when not in use. Do not leave a notary journal on a counter or desktop where other people might look at it, copy it, take a photograph, or steal it.
CRS 12-55-118 Unlawfully possessing and using a notary’s journal or any papers, copies, or electronic records relating to notarial acts is a class 3 misdemeanor.
If an electronic notary journal is used, adequate security is required to prevent unauthorized access. The electronic journal should be stored using encryption and only the notary should have the password to the account.
Old notary journals are a valuable source of historic records. Contents of old notary records have been published or made available to researchers. The colonial notary journal of William Aspinwall of Boston in 1644 includes some transactions of the Pilgrim passengers from the Mayflower. Notary records of Spanish explorers and Conquistadors from the landing of Columbus provide a wealth of information on that era of discovery.
Constitutional Right to Privacy
The U. S. Constitution does not contain any explicit right to privacy. But, the Supreme Court has said that several of amendments in the Bill of Rights create the right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment prevents the police and other government agents from searching us or our property without “probable cause” to believe that we have committed a crime.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In some states, notaries take a Constitutional oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution and the state Constitution.
Sample Form for Certificate of Notary Record
Colorado does not specify a form for a request or the format of a certificate of notary record.
Here are a sample request form and a certified notary record response form of a Request for Certificate of Notarial Record.