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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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Notary Public FAQs

FAQ menu

Remote notarization

Q1. Who can perform remote notarizations in Colorado?

A1. Only a currently commissioned Colorado notary public with a status of Active in the Secretary of State’s online database who has applied and been approved as a remote notary may perform remote notarizations.

Q2. How do I become a remote notary?

A2. Only a currently commissioned Colorado notary public with a status of Active in the Secretary of State’s online database may apply to become a remote notary.

In order to register as a remote notary, you must first take the remote notary training and exam. Then you may login to your notary account and click “Become a remote notary” under the “Actions” section to submit your application to become a remote notary. Once your application has been approved you can begin to perform remote notarizations.

Q3. Do I have to perform remote notarizations?

A3. No, you are not required to perform remote notarizations. Remote notarizations are simply an option.

If the client agrees, you can still perform an in-person notarization but only if you can comply with all current Colorado law.

Notaries have the right to refuse to perform a notarization under section 24-21-508, C.R.S.

Q4. What are some providers that can be used to perform remote notarizations?

A4. Providers must be approved with the Secretary of State before offering remote notary services in the state of Colorado. The current list of approved providers is kept on our website

Note: Before performing a remote notarization, it is the notary’s responsibility to verify that the provider technology used allows the audio-video recording and storage of the remote notarization and otherwise complies with existing remote notarization requirements. Most providers will charge for services.

Q5. May a notary choose more than one provider?

A5. Yes, the notary may choose more than one provider, but will be required to have at least one provider on record with our office.

Q6. Can I notarize a document based on viewing a previously taped audio-video recording of a person signing or acknowledging a document?

A6. No, you cannot notarize a document after watching a previously recorded or taped audio-video recording of a person signing or acknowledging a document.

You must witness the act in “real-time”, i.e., you and the remotely located individual must be able to “see and hear each other substantially simultaneously and without interruption or disconnection.”

The entire interaction including the remote notarization must be recorded. For more information on recording see A13 and A14 below.

Q7. Does the notary need to record a remote notarization in his or her journal?

A7. Yes, the notary must record each remote notarization in the notary’s tamper-evident electronic journal unless the notary meets all of the statutory exception requirements in section 24-21-519(10)(c), C.R.S. Additionally, the notary must include the provider used for the remote notarization.

If you are keeping a paper journal you will need to keep an additional tamper-evident electronic journal for remote notarizations. If you already have a tamper-evident electronic journal you may continue to use that for remote notarizations as long as it meets all of the remote notary journal requirements.

The journal may be stored using the same methods as the paper journal.  For more information, see Q9 of the Official stamps and journals FAQs.

Q8. What types of documents can I notarize?

A8. A notary providing a remote notarization service for a remotely located individual within the United States may remotely notarize any electronic documents that are normally allowed under Colorado’s RULONA notary law.

Alternatively, a notary providing a remote notarization service for a remotely located individual outside the United States may only remotely notarize electronic documents that relate to at least one of the following:

  • A matter that will be filed with or is currently before a court, governmental entity, or other entity in the United States
  • Property located in the United States
  • A transaction substantially connected to the United States

Q9. Can I perform remote notarizations of wills?

A9. There are special restrictions for such notarizations. A notary may not notarize a will or codicil or any acknowledgment required under sections 15-11-502 or 15-11-504, C.R.S., except as specifically provided in the Colorado Uniform Electronic Wills Act (HB 21-1004, effective January 21, 2021), codified at sections 15-12-1501 to 15-12-1511, C.R.S.

Q10. Can I perform remote notarizations for the circulator’s affidavits required for initiatives and candidate petitions?

A10. No, notary law expressly excludes remote notarization of any “record relating to the electoral process.” This includes notarization of circulator affidavits required for initiatives and candidate petitions.

Q11. Can I perform remote notarizations of real estate documents?

A11. Yes. Notaries may remotely notarize real estate deeds and other real estate documents, but it is not required.

Q12. Must the remote notarization be recorded? And if so, must the recording be stored?

A12. Yes, the remote notarization must be recorded and the audio-video recording must be securely stored for ten years.  The recording may be stored using the same methods as the journal.  For more information, see Q9 of the Official stamps and journals FAQs.

Q13. What if the remotely located individual does not want to be recorded?

A13. A notary cannot perform a remote notarization if the remotely located individual does not want or agree to be recorded.

Before actually recording the notarization, the notary public must first:

  • Tell the remotely located individual that the notarization will be recorded and the details of its storage including where and for how long it will be stored; and
  • Obtain the remotely located individual’s express consent (verbal agreement) to both the recording and storage of the recording.

Q14. What must the notary include in the audio-video recording of the remote notarization?

A14. Once the notary discloses the necessary information and obtains consent as in A8 above, the notary must make sure that the audio-video recording contains the following:

The notary must state:

  • The notary’s name
  • The date and time of the notarial act
  • A description of all documents (examples: affidavit, financial record, etc.) involved in the notary act
  • The remotely located individual’s name whose signature is the subject of the act
  • The identity of any required credible witness
  • The method(s) of identification (Colorado driver’s license, etc.) used to identify the remotely located individual and witness, if any:
    • Personal knowledge: If the notary uses personal knowledge of the remotely located individual, the notary must state how the notary public knows the remotely located individual and for how long.
    • Credible witness: lf the notary uses a credible witness to identify a remotely located individual, then the notary and the credible witness must make statements as follows:
      • The notary must explain either: (1) how the notary public knows the credible witness and for how long and
      • The credible witness must explain how the credible witness knows the remotely located individual.
    • Remote presentation and credential analysis of a government-issued ID, and the data contained on the credential, that contains the signature and a photograph of the remotely located individual, and at least one of the following:
      • A dynamic, knowledge-based authentication assessment by a trusted third party, like a remote notary provider.
      • A valid public key certificate that complies with the Colorado Notary Rules
      • Any other method that complies with the Colorado Notary Rules
    • The remotely located individual must state that his or her actions before the notary are knowingly and voluntarily made.
    • The notary must disclose that the transaction is being recorded and the details of the recording’s storage
    • The remotely located individual must explicitly consent (agree) to both the recording and the storage of the recording
    • Confirm the notary and the remotely located individual(s) are viewing the same record
      • All signatures, changes, and attachments to the record must be made in real time

Q15. What kind of notarial certificates must the notary use in performing a remote notarization?

A15. In performing a remote notarization, the notary public must only use the notarial certificates authorized by RULONA, sections 24-21-515 and -516, C.R.S.

The certificate must also indicate that the notary performed the notarial act using audio-video technology.

Q16. What should my remote notary signature look like?

A16. Your signature should be a digitized signature, which exactly matches your official signature on record with our office.  Your official signature is the signature on your most recent notary affirmation (filed at the time of application or renewal) or your most recent change of signature form, whichever comes later. For more information, visit the Official Signature eLearning.

Q17. What should my remote notary seal look like?

A17.  Your seal should exactly match your wet stamp.  For an example, see Q4 of the Official stamps and journals FAQs.

Q18. Can I perform a remote notarization for someone if I am physically located outside Colorado?

A18. No, you cannot perform a remote notarization for someone if you (the notary public) are physically located outside the state of Colorado.

Q19. Can I perform a remote notarization for someone who is physically located outside Colorado?

A19. Yes, you may perform a remote notarization for a remotely located individual who is physically outside the state of Colorado as long as you are located within the borders of Colorado.

However, if the remotely located individual is outside the United States, then both the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • You (the notary public) must not have actual knowledge that the notarial act is prohibited in the jurisdiction where the remotely located individual is physically located at the time of the act, and
  • The electronic documents must relate to at least one of the following:
    • A matter that will be filed with or is currently before a court, governmental entity, or other entity in the United States
    • Property located in the United States
    • A transaction substantially connected to the United States

Q20. What can I charge for a remote notarization?

A20. The notary may charge up to ten dollars for a remote notarial act. [section 24-21-529(2), C.R.S].

Q21. What’s the main difference between an electronic notarization and a remote notarization?

A21.

You may need to swipe or scroll sideways to see the whole table.
Electronic notarization Remote notarization
Electronic notarization Requires that the Colorado notary public and the person for whom the notarial act is being performed be in the same room. Remote notarization While the notary public must still be in Colorado, the notary public is not in the same location as the individual for whom the notarial act is performed.
Electronic notarization Requires the document to be signed electronically, in most cases looking at a computer or other viewing screen. Remote notarization Requires the document to be signed electronically with the notary and remotely located individual in separate locations.
Electronic notarization Does not use audio-video communication. Remote notarization Requires the use of real time audio-video communication.
Electronic notarization Requires the notary to include a special Document Authentication Number (DAN) received from the Secretary of State’s office on each electronic notarization. Remote notarization The use of a remote notarization provider’s system (provider) is required so that the notary can simultaneously witness in real time what is taking place, i.e., the signing or acknowledging a document.