Notary law is changing July 1, 2018

May update
5/18/2018

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: "Seals and journals".

 

Seals

Seals are now also referred to as the "official stamp."

24-21-502(9), C.R.S.

Notaries have the duty to keep the stamping device secure.

24-21-518(1), C.R.S.

When a notary's commission expires or the notary resigns, the notary must deface or disable the stamping device to make it unusable.  The notary is no longer required to send the stamp to our office for disposal.

24-21-518(1), C.R.S.


Journals

A journal entry is required for all notarial acts, including those not involving a signature on a record.  This means a notary must record copy certifications, oral oaths and affirmations, and depositions, for example, in the notary's journal.

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

  • A notary may maintain journal in either a tangible medium or an electronic format.
  • A journal maintained in a tangible medium must be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages.

24-21-519(2), C.R.S.

  • The list of what must be included in a journal entry changed slightly to:
    • The date and time of the notarization.
    • A description of the record, if there is one.
    • The type of notarial act.
    • The full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed.
    • A statement of the notary identified each individual. If the person was identified based on satisfactory evidence, this must include a brief description of the method used and the type of credential presented, if any.
    • The fee, if any, charged by the notary.

24-21-519(3), C.R.S.

  • RULONA imposes a duty on the notary to keep the journal secure, including:
    • Keeping the journal in a secure area under the exclusive control of the notary; and
    • Not allowing any other notary to use the journal.

24-21-519(4), C.R.S.

  • RULONA clarifies when and how a notary may provide a certified copy of a journal entry to an individual:
    • A written request is required.
    • The request must include the name of the parties to the document, the type of document, and the month and year in which it was notarized.
  • After receiving a compliant request, the notary may make the certified copy and charge the regular notarial fee for it.
  • The notary must record the transaction in their notary journal.

24-21-519(5), C.R.S.

  • RULONA requires a notary to provide their journal to the Secretary of State's office for inspection or auditing upon request.
  • RULONA also allows a law enforcement officer acting in the course of an official investigation to inspect a notary's journal without restriction.

24-21-519(6), C.R.S.
24-21-519(7), C.R.S.

  • RULONA changes the requirements for retention of journals:
    • A notary must keep journals for ten years after the date of the last notarization recorded in the journal.
    • When a notary resigns or lets their commission expire, they must either:
      • Retain their journals for 10 years and provide notice to the Secretary of State as to where they are being kept; or
      • Send their journals to State Archives and advise the Secretary of State that they have done so.
    • Alternatively, notaries may leave their journal with their employer, and advise the Secretary of State that they have done so. 

24-21-519(9) and (10), C.R.S.

  • If a current or former notary dies or is adjudged incompetent, RULONA requires the notary's personal representative, guardian, or any other person knowingly in possession of the notary's journal to:
    • Send the journal to State Archives.
    • Notify the Secretary of State of the transmission.

24-21-519(11), C.R.S.

 

For more comprehensive information, see the Summary of Changes for distinctions between the Notaries Public Act and RULONA, or see the full text of RULONA (PDF). 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: Notarial certificates; electronic notarizations; apostilles and authentications.