Notary law is changing July 1, 2018

March update

Please be advised that during the 2017 legislation, the Colorado General Assembly enacted a bill that will repeal the existing Notaries Public Act and replace it with the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) on July 1, 2018. 

In advance of RULONA becoming effective on July 1, 2018, the Secretary of State’s office is sending monthly emails to notify you of important changes or additions to the law. This month’s email will address the following topics: “Oaths and affirmations, acknowledgments and signature witnessing, and copy certifications”.

Oaths and Affirmations

  • RULONA distinguishes between an oral oath or affirmation, and one made in a written record.
    • In a written record, this notarial act is called a “verification on oath or affirmation,” or “verification of a statement on oath or affirmation.”
  • The requirements for performing them are the same.

24-21-502(16), C.R.S.

Notaries must now record all oaths and affirmations, even those only given orally, in their notary journals.

24-21-519(1), C.R.S.

Acknowledgments and Signature Witnessing

  • RULONA distinguishes between: (1) taking an acknowledgement — where a person has already signed the record and is acknowledging their signature to the notary — and (2) witnessing a signature.
  • However, the functional requirements (i.e., identifying the signer, ensuring that the signer is the same person named in the record, and verifying the signature is the signer’s) remain the same for both acts.
  • RULONA provides a separate short-form notarial certificate for signature witnessing.

24-21-502(1), C.R.S., 24-21-502(6), C.R.S., 24-21-516(1)(d), C.R.S.

Copy Certifications

A notary no longer has to receive a written request for a copy certification.

24-21-505(4), C.R.S.

  • RULONA clarifies which documents cannot be copy certified by a notary:
    • A record that can be obtained from any of the following offices in Colorado:
      • A clerk and recorder of public documents
      • The Colorado Secretary of State
      • The State Archives
      • An office of vital records
    • A record that states on its face that it is illegal to copy.

24-21-505(4)(b) and (c), C.R.S.

Notaries must now record copy certifications in their notary journals.

24-21-502(6), C.R.S., 24-21-519(1), C.R.S.

 For more details see our Summary of Changes page.


For more information, see our RULONA page. We will continue to add helpful information to this page.  

It is the responsibility of each notary to familiarize him/herself with RULONA and to follow the law after July 1, 2018.  (Please note that any notary courses that are completed before July 1, 2018 will not cover the new provisions enacted by RULONA.)

We’re excited to work with you and will strive to make this transition as smooth as possible. To help you maintain your notary commission, it’s important you read the upcoming emails. Copies of these emails are available on our website. Next month our topics will include: “Right to refuse; disqualifying interest; and acceptable identification”.