Notary Public FAQs



General questions

Q1. What is a notary public?

A1.  A notary public is a person commissioned to serve the public as a neutral witness. A notary performs notarial acts that are allowed or required by law.

A notary is a verifier, an authenticator, an impartial agent for the state, a public recorder of acts, and an unbiased, official witness.

 

Q2. What is a bond for a notary commission?

A2.  A bond provides a layer of protection for the notary from liability incurred by improperly notarizing. A notary does not have to be bonded in Colorado, but it’s something you may want to consider. If you have any questions, you should seek legal advice.

Another option to consider is errors and omissions insurance (E&O).

 

Q3. What fees can a notary legally charge?

A3.  By Colorado law, the maximum fee allowed for a notarization is $5 per document and includes:

  • Receiving evidence of the signer’s identity,
  • Administering an oath or affirmation (if applicable), and
  • Applying the signature, notarial certificate, and stamp of the notary to the document.

The maximum fee for an electronic notarization is $10.

If you charge for other services, you should itemize those separately.

 

Q4. What is my notary ID?

A4.  Your notary ID is an 11-digit number assigned to you when you become a notary. The ID is printed on your certificate below the date that it was issued. Your notary ID should also have been provided to you in an email from our office. You can search for your ID on Verify a Notary.

 

Q5. Where can I find my commission expiration date?

A5.  Your commission expiration date is on your Notary Commission Certificate. If you have lost or misplaced your Notary Commission Certificate, you can get a duplicate copy (see FAQ Q7, below). You can also search for your name under Verify a Notary on the Notary home page to find your expiration date.

 

Q6. How do I get a replacement copy of my Notary Commission Certificate?

A6.  You can log in using your notary ID and password and print your official certificate.

 

Q7. Where can I report illegal, improper, or questionable acts by a notary public?

A7.  You can fill out the Notary complaint form (PDF) and email it to notary@sos.state.co.us. Complaints must be submitted in writing.

 

Q8. What do I do if my name changes?

A8.  By law, you must notify our office within 30 days of a name and signature change. A copy of an acceptable ID that shows your new name is required. 

To file a name or signature change, log in using your notary ID and password and select “Change my name” under Actions on your Summary page.

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Q9. What do I do if just want to change my signature?

A9.  To file a signature change, log in using your notary ID and password and select “Change my official signature” under Actions on your Summary page.

 

Q10. What do I do if my address or telephone number changes?

A10.  By law, you must notify our office within 30 days after any change to your business or home address. In the case of a home address change, you can print a Notary Commission Certificate with the new address. Your business address does not appear on the certificate.

To file a change of address, log in using your notary ID and password select “Edit my profile” under Actions on your Summary page.

 

Q11. What do I do if I no longer want to be a notary or if I need to resign my commission?

A11.  If you want or need to resign your commission, send a completed Notary Public Resignation Form (PDF) to our office. For more information on what to do with your stamp and journal, refer to “Notary stamps and journals”.

Your commission will then no longer be in effect.

 

Q12. When would I need to resign my commission?

A12.  If you no longer live nor work in Colorado, or if you no longer need nor desire to be a notary, you should resign your commission.

 

Q13.  How is a U.S. notary public different from a notario publico?

A13.  A U.S. notary is not the same as a notario publico in Latin America. In Latin America, a notario publico is a high-ranking official and is usually an attorney. Unlike a notario publico, a U.S. notary is forbidden from preparing legal documents or giving advice on immigration or other matters, unless he or she is also an attorney. Licensed Colorado attorneys’ status can be verified at http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/Search/AttSearch.asp

 

Q14. What is electronic notarization?

A14.  An electronic notarization is a document in electronic format that is signed and notarized electronically, then filed or transmitted electronically to its intended destination. It is used in transactions between private parties who agree to it.

Electronic notarization does not mean remote notarization. As with all notarizations, the signer must appear in the physical presence of the notary.

Additional information about electronic notarization.

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