Colorado laws on notaries public can be found in Article 55, Title 12 of Colorado revised statutes. Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-103, upon application, the secretary of state may appoint and commission individuals as notaries public for a term of four years, unless said commission is revoked as provided in section 12-55-107. An applicant who has been denied appointment and commission may appeal such decision pursuant to article 4 of title 24, C.R.S. The secretary of state shall promptly notify the applicant in writing of such denial.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-104, every applicant for appointment and commission as a notary public shall complete an application form furnished by the secretary of state to be filed with the secretary of state, stating:
1) That the applicant is a resident of Colorado who is at least 18 years of age;
2) That the applicant is able to read and write the English language;
3) The addresses and telephone numbers of the applicant’s business and residence in this state;
4) That the applicant’s commission as a notary public has never been revoked;
5) That the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or, in the prior five years, a misdemeanor that disqualifies him or her from being a notary public.
The application shall include a handwritten sample of the applicant’s official signature, the applicant’s typed legal name, and the affirmation as provided in section 12-55-105. The application may also contain the applicant’s electronic signature if the applicant is issued a journal.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-106.5, the electronic signature of a notary public shall contain or be accompanied by the following elements, all of which shall be immediately perceptible and reproducible in the electronic record to which the notary’s electronic signature is attached: the notary’s name; the words “NOTARY PUBLIC” and “STATE OF COLORADO”; a document authentication number issued by the secretary of state; and the words “my commission expires” followed by the expiration date of the notary’s commission.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-107, the secretary of state or the secretary of state’s designee may deny the application of any person for appointment or reappointment, issue a letter of admonition, suspend a commission, or revoke the commission of any notary public during such notary’s term of appointment, if the notary public:
(a) Submits an application for commission and appointment that contains substantial and material misstatement or omission of fact;
(b) Is convicted of official misconduct or any felony or, in the prior five years, a misdemeanor involving dishonesty;
(c) Fails to exercise the powers or perform the duties of a notary public;
(d) Knowingly uses false or misleading advertising in which such notary represents that such notary has powers, duties, rights, or privileges that such notary does not possess by law;
(e) Is found by a court of Colorado to have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law;
(f) Ceases to fulfill the requirements applicable to such notary’s most recent appointment;
(g) Notarizes any blank document;
(h) Knowingly uses false or misleading advertising to represent a level of authority not permitted to a notary public by law.
(i) Fails to comply with any term of suspension imposed under this section; or
(j) Performs any notarial act when the notary public’s commission is suspended.
Whenever the secretary of state believes that a violation has occurred, the secretary of state may investigate any such violation. The secretary of state or the secretary of state’s designee may also investigate possible violations upon a signed complaint from any person. Upon revocation of commission, such notary shall immediately send or have delivered to the secretary of state such notary’s journal of notarial acts, all other papers and copies relating to such notary’s notarial acts, and such notary’s official seal[i].
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-110, every notary public is empowered to:
(a) Take acknowledgments and other unsworn statements, proof of execution, and attest documents and electronic records;
(b) Administer oaths and affirmations;
(c) Give certificates or other statements as to a notarial act performed by such notary;
(d) Take depositions, affidavits, verifications, and other sworn testimony or statements;
(d.5) Perform any other act that is recognized or otherwise given effect under the law, rules, or regulations of another jurisdiction, including the United States, provided such other law, rule, or regulation authorizes a notary in this state to perform such act. However, no notary is empowered to perform an act under this paragraph (d.5) if such performance is prohibited by the law, rules, or regulations of this state.
(e) Perform any other act authorized by law, rules, or regulations;
(f) Present and give notice of dishonor and protest notes and other negotiable instruments as provided in part 5 of article 3 of title 4, C.R.S., or the corresponding laws of another jurisdiction.
A notary public who has a disqualifying interest in a transaction may not legally perform any notarial act in connection with such transaction. A notary public has a disqualifying interest in a transaction in connection with which notarial services are requested if s/he:
1) May receive directly, and as a proximate result of the notarization, any advantage, right, title, interest, cash, or property exceeding in value the sum of any fee properly received; or
2) Is named, individually, as a party to the transaction[ii].
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-110, at the time of notarization, a notary public shall sign such notary’s official signature on every notary certificate or in the case of an electronic record, a notary public shall affix his or her electronic signature. Under or near such notary’s official signature on every notary certificate, a notary public shall rubber stamp or emboss clearly and legibly such notary’s official seal. The official notary seal shall contain only the outline of the seal, the name of the notary, exactly as such notary writes his or her official signature, the words “STATE OF COLORADO”, and the words “NOTARY PUBLIC”. Under or near such notary’s official signature on every notary certificate, a notary public shall write or stamp “my commission expires (commission expiration date)”.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-113, every notary public shall send or have delivered notice to the secretary of state within 30 days after the notary loses or misplaces such notary’s journal of notarial acts, or official seal, or the notary becomes aware that any other person has electronic control of his or her electronic signature.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-115, if a notary public dies during the term of the notary’s appointment, the notary’s heirs or personal representative, as soon as reasonably possible after the notary’s death, shall send or have delivered to the secretary of state the deceased notary’s journal of notarial acts and the notary’s seal, if available. If a notary public no longer desires to be a notary public or has ceased to have a business or residence address in this state, the notary shall send or have delivered to the secretary of state a letter of resignation.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-116, a notary public who knowingly and willfully violates the duties commits official misconduct and is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. A notary public and the surety or sureties on his bond are liable to the persons involved for all damages proximately caused by the notary’s official misconduct.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-203, notarial acts may be performed outside Colorado for use in Colorado with the same effect as if performed by a notary public of Colorado by the following persons authorized pursuant to the laws and regulations of other governments:
(a) A notary public authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed;
(b) A judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of any court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed;
(c) An officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the United States department of state to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed;
(d) A commissioned officer in active service with the armed forces of the United States and any other person authorized by regulation of the armed forces to perform notarial acts if the notarial act is performed for one of the following or his or her dependents: A merchant seaman of the United States, a member of the armed forces of the United States, or any other person serving with or accompanying the armed forces of the United States; or
(e) Any other person authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-55-205, the person taking an acknowledgment shall certify that:
1) The person acknowledging appeared before him or her and acknowledged he executed the instrument; and
2) The person acknowledging was known to the person taking the acknowledgment or that the person taking the acknowledgment had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person described in and who executed the instrument.
[i] C.R.S. 12-55-107.
[ii] C.R.S. 12-55-110.