Notary Resignation and Death

notary resignation deathNotary Resignation and Death

Colorado notary laws CRS 24-21-518(1), 24-21-519(9), and (11) define the procedures for dealing with notary resignation, revocation, mental incompetence, and death.

If a notary chooses to resign or no longer has a business or residence address in Colorado, the notary must send or deliver a letter of notary resignation to the Secretary of State (SOS). There is an online notary resignation form on the SOS website.

Destruction or Disabling of Notary Stamp

On the resignation, revocation, mental incompetence, or death of a notary, or the expiration of the notary commission, the notary stamp should be destroyed or disabled to prevent further use by an unauthorized person.

Storage or Delivery of Notary Journal

On the resignation, revocation or expiration of a notary commission, completed notary journals should be securely stored by the notary for ten years after the last transaction, or sent to the state archives.

On the adjudication of mental incompetence, or death of a notary, the personal representative of the notary shall submit the notary journals to the state archives and notify the secretary of state in writing of the delivery. There is a death notice form on the SOS website.

Note: it is a good idea to make a copy of the notary journal before delivering it to the state archives.  In case there is a legal dispute or inquiry, a copy of the journal may be needed as evidence.

Notary employees should not leave the notary journal and stamp with an employer, even if the employer paid for those items.  The journal and stamp should remain in the secure possession of the notary until they are delivered to the state archives.  An employer may move, go out of business, or lose stored records, making it difficult or impossible for a former notary employee to locate or retrieve an old notary journal if needed.

Expired Notary Commission

If a notary’s commission has expired, there is no requirement that the notary must resign.  However, a notary with an expired commission may not perform notarial acts, until he/she re-applies and is re-appointed to become a notary again, including completing the required notary training and notary exam.

Notary Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance

It is a best practice for a notary to carry notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.  When a notary resigns, notary insurance should not be immediately canceled.  Lawsuits against notaries for errors and omissions often occur months or years after a document is notarized.

Notary E&O insurance is not expensive.  It should be maintained for several years after the notary resigns, to continue to provide protection.  Contact your notary insurance agent to get advice on how long to maintain your insurance after you resign as a notary.

[Updated 2020-06-25] updated for RULONA laws

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