Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

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Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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Apostilles and Authentications

Common reasons for rejection

Our office can’t authenticate improperly notarized documents. Our office may only authenticate original certified copies issued by a Colorado notary, a Colorado county clerk and recorder, Colorado Secretary of State, Colorado State Archives, or Colorado vital records (Colorado birth certificates, Colorado death certificates, etc.).

Below is a list of the various issues we come across that we have to reject for: 

Certification of "being alive"

Colorado law does not authorize a notary to attest to or certify that an individual is alive and our office will reject authentication requests for such certifications. In some countries including Russia and Iraq, notaries are authorized to certify or attest that an individual is alive.

The individual may wish to revise the document so that it is the individual or someone else who swears to or affirms and signs a written statement in the presence of a notary that the individual is alive. The notary can then notarize the statement. You may want to check with the requesting country if this is acceptable.

Documents with blanks

A notary may not notarize a blank document or a document containing blanks. We will not be able to authenticate a document with blank spaces because the document was not notarized in compliance with Colorado Law. [1]

I-9 forms

The Form I-9 is not required to be notarized, nor is there a place on the document to be notarized.

This is a federal document. If you have any questions, you will need to contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Improper copy certification

A notarial officer cannot certify a copy of a record that can be obtained from any of the following offices in Colorado:

(I) A clerk and recorder of public documents;

(II) The secretary of state;

(III) The state archives; or

(IV) An office of vital records.

Improperly notarized document

All notaries in Colorado must comply with Colorado law when completing notarial acts. Depending on the type of document, the notarial certificate may be different. It is the responsibility of the person that is having the document notarized to determine what type of notarial act they need.

See the notarization format examples.

Power of attorney

Please view our eLearning for information about Power of Attorney documents (POAs).

In some power of attorney documents, the notary may have exceeded their statutory authority, such as engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

Our office receives authentication requests for notarized POAs intended for use in foreign countries per an international agreement. [2] These POAs frequently contain legal conclusions by the notary, including statements about the legal capacities of the parties involved. Some POAs indicate that the notary has read and explained the legal meaning of the document to the grantor. Unless the notary is also an attorney licensed to practice law in Colorado, notarizing these types of documents constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

This office will only authenticate these types of POAs if:

  1. The document is revised to conform to Colorado law; or
  2. The attesting notary is also an attorney licensed to practice law in Colorado.

Another option may be to seek the services of the respective consulate or embassy.

Our office provides an authentication review service for your convenience. If you would like our office to review your document prior to submission for authentication, send a PDF of the document(s) via email to Authentications@sos.state.co.us. We will review and provide feedback within 3-5 business days (multiple attachments may require more time to review).

Unauthorized legal statements

The document will be rejected when the notary has exceeded his or her statutory authority, such as engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. [3]

Other certification restrictions

Our office CANNOT authenticate the signature of a notary public on the following documents [4]:

  • Records regarding allegiance to a government
  • Records regarding allegiance to a jurisdiction
  • Records relating to the relinquishment of citizenship
  • Records relating to the renunciation of citizenship
  • Records relating to Sovereignty
  • Records relating to IN ITINERE Status
  • Records relating to World Service Authority
  • Records relating to the claim of immunity from Colorado Law
  • Records relating to the claim of immunity from Federal Law

[1] | 24-21-525(7), C.R.S.
[2] | 24-21-516(1)(d), C.R.S.
[3] | 24-21-525(4), C.R.S.
[4] | 24-21-534(2), C.R.S.