Filing a Colorado Notary Complaint
A customer can file a notary complaint in writing for an illegal, improper or questionable act by a Colorado notary public with the Colorado Secretary of State (SOS) Notary Program.
Use the Notary Complaint Form to file a complaint. Complete the form by typing in the information. Include specific details. Attach copies of any notarized documents or other relevant documents mentioned in or related to your notary complaint. Do not send original documents. Cross out (redact) any confidential information on the copies such as account numbers, birth dates or ID numbers.
Have your sworn or affirmed complaint form notarized, under penalty of perjury. Do not make false statements. You can send the completed complaint form and attachments by mail to the SOS address in Denver or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notary Complaint Investigation
During the investigation, the SOS may ask you to provide additional information in writing or in an interview. Most complaints are resolved without a hearing, but you might be asked to be a witness. If you are unable or unwilling to testify about your complaint, please let the SOS know.
The SOS does not provide legal advice. To preserve your legal rights, you may wish to consult with a private attorney.
The Secretary of State only has jurisdiction to investigate possible violations of the Colorado Notaries Public Act. You can find the Colorado notary laws on the SOS website. If a violation occurred, it may result in a letter of admonition or in disciplinary action against the notary, including temporary suspension, up to a notary revocation hearing.
When you file a notary complaint, the SOS does not represent you. Any action they take is on behalf of the state and citizens in general. Investigations are not designed to provide individual remedies.
The SOS does not have jurisdiction to decide whether a notarized document is valid for a particular purpose, to invalidate documents, or to take any other actions with regard to the documents themselves. If you have concerns about civil or criminal questions related to an improperly notarized document, consult with your own legal counsel.
Most Common Notary Complaints
- Notarized outside the presence of the signer
- Notary certificate, stamp or seal issue
- Blank spaces in document
- Notary has disqualifying interest
- Notary journal issue
- Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL)
See article Most Common Complaints Against Notaries
Other Notary Violations
- Charging notary fees exceeding the maximum amount authorized by law.
- Failing to exercise notary powers or perform duties according to the notary laws.
- Knowingly using false or misleading advertising to represent powers, duties, rights or privileges not authorized by law.
- Knowingly using false or misleading advertising to represent a level of authority not permitted by law.
- Using the phrase notario or notario publico to advertise notary public services.
- Advertising as an immigration consultant or expert unless a licensed attorney.
- Advertising in a foreign language without including the required disclosures.
- Willfull impersonation of a notary without having lawful authority.
- Unlawful possession and use of a notary journal, stamp, seal, signature, papers or records.
Violations of Other Laws
Only persons licensed or authorized by the Colorado Supreme Court may practice law in Colorado. Alleged violations of the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) are handled by the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.
Crimes may be reported to law enforcement. For other legal matters, questions, or legal advice, consult with an attorney.
Many errors, omissions, misunderstandings or problems may be settled by talking, meeting or correction. Be calm and reasonable. Explain the problem and your desired solution. Provide a fair and reasonable opportunity to solve the problem.
Mistakes happen. New notaries may still be in a learning phase. Even experienced notaries may be distracted or unfamiliar with unusual documents or situations. Some customers and notaries misunderstand the law or the role of a notary.
Mediation is a solution used by many businesses to have a neutral third party facilitate in reaching a mutually satisfactory solution.
Check the About Us section of a notary’s website to see if a resume is included of training, certifications, skills, experience and qualifications. When getting a document notarized, check the document carefully for mistakes before leaving the notary.
Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice.