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

Colorado
Secretary of State
Wayne W. Williams

Picture of Secretary of State Wayne W. Williams

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

Colorado
Secretary of State
Wayne W. Williams

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Apostilles and Authentications

Common reasons for rejection

Improperly notarized document
Power of attorney
Certification of "Being Alive"

Our office does not authenticate improperly notarized documents. This includes cases where the notary appears to have exceeded his or her statutory authority, such as engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. [1]

Improperly notarized document

The notary improperly notarized the 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.

See the notarization format examples.

Power of attorney

In some power of attorney documents (POAs), the notary may have exceeded his or her statutory authority, such as engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

Our office receives authentication requests for notarized POAs intended for use in Latin American 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 Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, Colorado.

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, public.AuthenticationReviews@sos.state.co.us. We will review and provide feedback within 1-2 business days (multiple attachments may require more time to review). Please understand that we are unable to provide online authentications/apostilles

Certification of "Being Alive"

In some countries including Russia, notaries are authorized to certify or attest that an individual is alive. However, 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.  

The individual may wish to revise the document, if possible, so that it is the individual 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.

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