CO Administrative Rules (2014)


State: Colorado

Effective: November 30, 2014


The Colorado Secretary of State amends, adds, simplifies and re-codifies its Notary program rules governing the commissioning process, electronic notarization and the mandatory education and examination requirements.


Amends Title 8 of the Code of Colorado Regulations Sections 1505-11.



  1. Repeals the prior definition of “best practices” as used within the context of the requirements for Notary education curriculum.
  2. Amends the definition of “Document Authentication Number” (DAN) by repealing the substance of the current definition stating that it is a number that includes the Secretary of State’s accounting system validation number issued to each Notary and a randomly-generated number that when used together may constitute the Notary’s electronic signature and identify both the individual Notary and the document to which the document authentication number has been affixed, and clarifying that the DAN means the unique document authentication number issued by the Secretary of State and required by CRS 12-55-106.5, 12-55-111(4), and 12-55-112(4.5) for electronic notarizations.
  3. Clarifies in the definition of “electronic notarization” that an electronic notarization is a Notary’s notarization of electronic records that includes the Notary’s and document signer’s electronic signatures. Previously, the definition emphasized that an electronic notarization involved the Notary’s electronic signature only.
  4. Clarifies that the definition of “new applicant” applies both to a person who is seeking a commission as a Notary for the first time and a formerly commissioned Notary whose commission has been expired for more than 30 days.
  5. Repeals the prior definition of “Notary’s electronic signature.”
  6. Repeals the prior definition of “renewing applicant.”

Notary Commission; Education and Examination

  1. Requires all Notary filings to be submitted via the Secretary’s online electronic filing system.
  2. Clarifies that the Secretary will grant credit for completion of courses offered only by: (a) an approved vendor; (b) an approved course provider; (c) or the Secretary.
  3. Repeals the part of the prior rule stating that the examination administered by the Secretary shall be comprised of no less than 25 questions.
  4. Clarifies that questions for the examination administered by the Secretary will be based on: (a) CRS Title 12, Article 55 – The Notaries Public Act; (b) CRS Title 38, Article 30 – Titles and Interests; (c) CRS Title 1, Article 40 – Initiatives and Referendum; and (d) The official Notary handbook published by the Secretary.

Electronic Notarial Acts

  1. Clarifies that a Notary who registers an electronic signature different from a DAN with which to perform electronic notarizations must notify the Secretary of State of any changes to the Notary’s electronic signature.
  2. Repeals a rule stating that if a Notary is approved to notarize electronically, the Secretary will: (a) provide an electronic log to the Notary that contains a series of DANs, which will constitute the journal referenced in CRS 12-55-104(2); and (b) maintain a record of the series of numbers issued at the Secretary’s office.
  3. Repeals a rule that required a Notary who uses a DAN as the Notary’s electronic signature to include with the DAN the Notary’s name, the words “NOTARY PUBLIC” and “STATE OF COLORADO”, and the words “my commission expires,” followed by the date of expiration. Note: CRS 12-55-106.5(1) requires a Notary who uses an electronic signature to include all of these data points on the electronic record and the DAN as well.
  4. Requires a Notary to include the Notary’s identification number in an electronic notarization.
  5. Clarifies that in CRS 12-55-106.5(1), a Notary’s name means the Notary’s printed legal name.
  6. Requires a Notary whose assigned DANs are lost or stolen to request new DANs after notifying the Secretary in the same manner as for a lost or stolen journal or seal. Note: the prior rule required the Secretary to replace the DANs upon the Notary’s request, but did not require the Notary to make this request.
  7. Repeals a rule requiring that any form of electronic signature used by a Notary must be: (a) discrete to the individual submitting the e-signature; and (b) retrievable from the electronic document in perceivable form.
  8. Repeals a rule stating that the approval to notarize electronically expires when the supplier or vendor of the technology used by the Notary to create an electronic signature goes out of business or for any other reason no longer supplies the technology.

Trainer and Training Requirements

  1. Repeals the rule stating that the Secretary shall charge a fee not to exceed $250 to review an application of a course vendor and replaces it with a provision that states that the application submitted by a course vendor must include the required application fee.
  2. Clarifies that a course provider and approved vendor must submit with the application of course approval a draft copy of the certificate of successful completion as required under Rule 3.3.
  3. Strikes a part of a prior rule stating that it shall be at the discretion of the course provider or approved vendor to determine which best practices shall be included in curricula.
  4. Clarifies that the “widely accepted best practices” that must be addressed in an approved vendor’s curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the role of the Notary and notarizations for the elderly.
  5. Repeals rule requiring an approved vendor’s seal of accreditation expiration date to appear of (sic) the seal of accreditation.
  6. Repeals a rule requiring an approved vendor to provide the Secretary of State with a list of persons within ten days after completion of the approved course of instruction on a form provided by the Secretary, and replaces it with a provision requiring a vendor to maintain a list of attendees and provide that list to the Secretary upon request.
  7. Repeals a provision prohibiting an approved vendor from requesting, collecting or keeping the Social Security number of any attendee.
  8. Changes the information an approved vendor must provide to the Secretary of State along with the list of attendees upon request by the Secretary as follows: (a) No longer requires the name of all attendees in alphabetical order by the attendee’s last name, but now requires each attendee’s full name; (b) no longer requires the identification number, expiration date, and state or country of issuance of an ID document establishing the identity of the attendees who attended a course, but now requires only the type of current, government-issued photo identification used to establish the course attendee’s identity; and (c) no longer requires the applicant’s date of birth.
  9. No longer requires the Secretary to notify a Notary applicant that an expired certificate of completion is invalid and that the applicant must complete a course and submit a valid certificate of completion to the Secretary.
  10. Slightly modifies the statement that an approved vendor or course provider must include on the certificate of proof of successful completion regarding the period of validity of the certificate, to read as follows: “This certificate of proof of completion is valid for a period of six months from the date of issuance.” Note: the words “shall be” in the prior notice is replaced by the word “is.”
  11. No longer requires an approved vendor or course provider to notify the Secretary within 30 days of any changes to their course, but now requires an approved vendor to notify the Secretary of any “substantial” changes to the curriculum, and further requires vendors and providers to include copies of the changes.
  12. Clarifies that approved vendors and course providers must respond in writing within 20 business days of receiving a written request from the Secretary for any information relating to a complaint or approved course.
  13. Clarifies that both approved vendors and course providers must permit the Secretary or the Secretary’s designee to attend any approved course without prior notice and without fee.
  14. Clarifies that a person may file a complaint against approved vendors and course providers.
  15. Clarifies that the Secretary may terminate an approved vendor’s accreditation or course provider’s approval for failure to cooperate with an investigation.
  16. Clarifies that the termination of an approved vendor’s accreditation will be effective 30 days after the mailing date of the termination notice, if the vendor does not request a hearing.
  17. Applies the right of an approved vendor to appeal a termination of accreditation to course providers whose approval has been terminated.

The Colorado Secretary of State amends, adds, simplifies and re-codifies its Notary program rules. The changes apply to the Notary commissioning process, electronic notarization, and rules for approved vendors and course providers who provide training for Notary commission applicants. Most of the existing rules are retained, simplified and reorganized. However, there are some interesting new regulations. For example, a new rule states that the examination administered by the Secretary of State will be based upon the Notaries Public Act, the main chapter in the Colorado Revised Statutes governing Notaries, as well as C.R.S. Title 38, Article 30 – Titles and Interests, CRS Title 1, Article 40 – Initiatives and Referendum, and the official Notary handbook published by the Secretary. Another new rule is the requirement to use the Secretary’s online filing system for submitting Notary applications, a procedure that was announced and implemented in December, 2013. In addition, some rules are clarified. For example, a new rule removes the confusion caused by a prior rule that identified a log of Document Authentication Numbers as a “journal.” Another rule now requires approved vendors to provide a list of attendees of their courses to the Secretary upon request instead of requiring the list to be sent within 10 days of completion of a course. Finally, some prior rules are repealed in whole or in part. Notable examples include the rule that said the Notary examination is comprised of no less than 25 questions and the rule defining a “Notary’s electronic signature.” The rules were published on October 7, but can’t take effect until Attorney General issues a legal opinion on the rules within 20 days and a notice of the rules appears in the Colorado Register. The Attorney General provided his opinion on October 24, 2014. The notice of the adopted rule appeared in the Colorado Register on November 10, 2014. Thus, the rules take effect 20 days after publication of the notice, or on November 30, 2014.

Read the adopted administrative rules.