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How to Become a Notary Public in Colorado

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Colorado, this practical guide answers many commonly asked questions. Learn about notarial duties, and find out how you can receive a Notary commission in your state. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Colorado notary or renewing your Colorado commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Colorado Notary Process

Requirements to be a Notary in Colorado

General Notary Public Information

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Colorado Notary Process

To become a Notary Public in Colorado, you must complete the following process:

  1. Make sure you meet the state’s qualifications (see requirements below).
  2. Take a Notary training course.
  3. Pass the state-required exam.
  4. Take your oath of office.
  5. Submit your application, exam completion certificate, your oath and the $10 filing fee online.
  6. Receive your commission, your Notary ID and password via email.
  7. Print your commission certificate. Present it to an approved Notary stamp vendor.
  8. Buy your official Notary stamp and journal.
  9. Consider getting errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).

How long does the commission process take?

The Colorado Department of State estimates a length of 3 to 5 business days for the processing of a Notary Public commission application.

How long does a Notary commission last in Colorado?

A Colorado Notary commission lasts for four (4) years.

How much does it cost to become a Colorado Notary?

There is a $10 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission online. Additional costs for training courses, Notary supplies and insurance vary depending on vendors.

The cost of commissioning can differ depending on whether you are a new or renewing Notary. New Notaries may need more “how-to” assistance than experienced Notaries. Books, training and live expert assistance are often must-haves for most new Notaries.

What kind of Notary training is required?

Colorado requires training for all Notary applicants. The training can be taken online or in person by an approved education vendor. The training provided by the state is a two-hour class.

Do Notary applicants need to take an exam?

Yes. Colorado Notaries must take an exam. The online, open-book exam generally takes 25-30 minutes to complete. When you finish the exam, click the “Print Completion Certificate” button to issue proof that you passed.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

A surety bond is not required in Colorado.

However, Notaries can insure themselves against possible legal costs or damages by purchasing a separate, optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. Though not required by law either, an E&O policy covers a Notary’s legal fees and damages up to the amount of the policy, should the Notary get sued for making an unintentional mistake or if a false claim is filed against them.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Colorado Notaries are required to use a rubber stamp ink seal for paper based notarizations. Stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging.

You must also keep and maintain a journal of all your official notarial acts. You may keep a hardcopy or tamper-evident digital journal. Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals are not acceptable in Colorado. When purchasing a journal, there are features to which you must pay close attention. A journal with tamper-proof sewn construction allows Notaries to identify missing pages in their journals, which becomes extremely helpful if you’re ever named in a lawsuit. Your Notary seal and journal of notarial acts must be kept secure and under your exclusive control. They may not be used by any other person.

Depending on the types and quantity of notarizations you are performing, different tools of the trade may be helpful. For example, if you are a mobile or retail Notary, an ID checking guide is recommended because you are constantly dealing with different people, as opposed to someone who notarizes in the same setting for the same group of people day after day.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Colorado

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in Colorado must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen, permanent legal resident or lawfully present in the United States
  • Be a resident or have a place of employment in Colorado
  • Be able to read and write in English
  • Not be convicted of a felony or the unauthorized practice of law
  • Not be convicted of a misdemeanor involving dishonesty in the prior five years
  • Not have a finding against, or admission of liability to, acts of fraud, dishonesty or deceit
  • Not have a Notary Public commission revoked, denied or suspended in another state

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General Notary Public Information

Where will I be able to notarize?

A Colorado Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state’s borders.

Who can I notarize for?

Notaries commissioned by the state of Colorado may perform notarizations for any member of the public, as long as the request meets all statutory requirements for notarization.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Colorado Office of Secretary of State, Business and Licensing Division, Notary Program, Denver, CO.

May I become a Colorado Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become a Colorado Notary Public. If you’re not a citizen, you must be a permanent legal resident or lawfully present in the United States. You must reside in or have a place of employment in Colorado and meet all other application requirements.

What do I need to know about electronic notarization in Colorado?

As of July 1, 2018, Colorado Notaries must notify the Secretary of State that they intend to perform electronic notarizations including the technology they plan to use.

This is not to be confused with remote notarization, which is not allowed in Colorado. To learn more about the differences, we’ve published an article describing what remote notarization is and what you need to know.

When the new laws take effect, what do I need to do if I’m already a Colorado Notary?

Notaries commissioned before July 1, 2018 are “grandfathered” through the existing commission term. When you renew your commission, however, you will be subject to the new CO Notary laws.

What is the process to renew my commission as a Colorado Notary?

The process to renew your commission is the same as when you initially applied to become a Colorado Notary. You may renew online up to 90 days before your commission expires.

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If you're not quite ready yet, we have additional resources where you can learn what a Notary is, what they do and why you should become a commissioned Notary.

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