Notary law is changing July 1, 2018

April 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: “Right to refuse, disqualifying interest, and acceptable identification”.

Right To Refuse

RULONA makes explicit a notary’s right to refuse to perform a notarization, so long as the refusal does not violate other laws.

24-21-508(2), C.R.S.

Disqualifying Interest

  • As before, RULONA prohibits a notary from performing any notarial act in a transaction if they have a disqualifying interest.
  • However, RULONA expands the definition to include family relationships. A notary now has a disqualifying interest if:
    • The notary or the notary’s spouse, partner in a civil union, ancestor, descendent, or sibling is a party to or is named in the record to be notarized; or
    • The notary or the notary’s spouse or partner in a civil union may receive directly, and as a proximate result of the notarization, any advantage, right, title, or benefit in excess of the notary’s fee.

24-21-504(2), C.R.S.

Acceptable Identification

  • RULONA provides a definition of “personal knowledge”:
    • A notary has “personal knowledge” of an individual’s identity if “the individual is personally known to the officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed.”

24-21-507(1), C.R.S.

  • RULONA expands and clarifies the types of identification that provide satisfactory evidence of an individual’s identity, and creates different categories:
    • Documents that are always satisfactory evidence under RULONA: A passport, driver’s license, or government-issued nondriver identification card that is current or expired not more than one year. This list includes a foreign government-issued passport or driver’s license.
    • Other forms of government-issued IDs that are current or expired not more than one year may be acceptable if:
      • They contain either the signature or photograph of the individual; and
      • They are satisfactory to the notary.

This provision gives the notary some discretion to accept forms of identification such as jail ID’s issued by counties and other types of ID issued by foreign governments, but only if the notary is satisfied that the ID is legitimate and properly identifies the individual.

24-21-507(2), C.R.S.

RULONA specifically allows the notary to require additional information or identification credentials, if needed, to assure the notary of an individual’s identity.

24-21-507(3), C.R.S.

  • RULONA still allows a notary to identify an individual through the sworn statement of a credible witness, but makes some changes:
    • The witness must provide a verification on oath or affirmation as to the person’s identity.
    • Also, the notary can identify the witness through either personal knowledge or a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued nondriver identification card that is current or expired not more than one year.

24-21-507(2)(b), 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”.