CO Senate Bill 111 | NNA
Law

CO Senate Bill 111

Notary Law Update: CO Senate Bill 111

State: Colorado

Summary:

After a sunset review of the Notary Public Act, which was set to expire on July 1, 2009, Senate Bill 111 reenacts the Notary Public Act with important new provisions including an expansion of a limited Notary record-keeping requirement to apply now to all notarial acts; authorization for the Secretary of State to promulgate rules requiring Notaries to take a training program; and a directive requiring the Secretary to verify the lawful presence in the U.S. of all Notary commission applicants.

Signed:  April 22, 2009

Effective:  July 01, 2009

Chapter: 180

Affects:

Amends Sections 12-55-103, 12-55-103.5, 12-55-107, 12-55-111, and 24-34-104, and repeals Sections 12-55-106.7, 12-55-123 and 24-34-104(40)(e) of the Colorado Revised Statutes

Changes:
  1. Requires the Secretary of State to verify the lawful presence in the United States of any Notary commission applicant through the verification procedures contained in CRS 24-76.5-103(4).
  2. Permits (previously requires) the Secretary of State or the Secretary’s designee to deny the application for an appointment or reappointment or revoke the commission of a Notary for any of the grounds listed in CRS 12-55-107. In addition, this provision now permits the Secretary or the Secretary’s designee to send a letter of admonition or suspend the commission of a Notary for any of the grounds listed in CRS 12-55-107.
  3. Repeals the prior requirement that a Notary keep a journal of every acknowledgment affecting title to real property taken by the Notary and requires a Notary to keep a journal for every notarial act. (Note: the law retains the existing provision allowing certain documents and electronic records containing the information otherwise required to be entered in the journal to be kept in lieu of a journal record if retained by the Notary’s employer in the ordinary course of business.)
  4. Repeals the notarial duty enacted in 2005 allowing a Notary to transmit encrypted, authenticated photographs of individuals for use by motor vehicle offices, credit card companies and other entities requiring an authenticated photograph of an individual, and also repeals the accompanying directive requiring the Secretary of State to publish rules for this procedure to be approved by the General Assembly.
  5. Permits (but does not require) the Secretary of State to promulgate rules to require Notaries to complete a training program.
  6. Makes minor technical changes.
  7. Repeals the sunset provision of the current Notary Public Act (July 1, 2009), sets the effective date of July 1, 2009 for the new law and schedules the Notary Public Act to expire on July 1, 2018, subject to a sunset review of the Act.
Analysis:

In Colorado, the Notary Public Act is subject to a “sunset” review and repeal process that is designed to ensure that the Act is kept up to date with current pertinent developments in society. The current Act was set to be repealed on July 1, 2009. Last year Tim Reiniger and Bill Anderson were interviewed by the state personnel conducting the sunset review of the Notary Public Act and given an opportunity to offer recommendations about any current Colorado law or suggested amendments. The result of the sunset review was the enactment of Senate Bill 111, which reenacts the Notary Public Act with a number of important changes. Most importantly, the bill requires Notaries to keep a journal record of each notarial act performed. The current law required Notaries to keep a journal only for acknowledgments affecting title to real property. This provision was repealed and the new journal requirement inserted in its place. However, the new journal law is tempered by existing provisions in the Notary Public Act allowing a document or electronic record containing all of the information required to be included in a journal entry to be kept in lieu of a journal entry, provided the document or electronic record is retained by the Notary’s employer in the ordinary course of business. That said, another provision of the law was retained prohibiting a firm, employer or professionally licensed person from disallowing a Notary to maintain a journal in the regular course of employment. Other noteworthy changes in the law include a new provision requiring the Secretary of State to verify the legal presence in the U.S. of Notary commission applicants; repealing the innovative “pictorial Notary” duty; and permitting the Secretary of State to publish rules requiring Notaries to complete a training program. From the NNA’s contact with the Secretary of State office, it is virtually assured that such a rule will be forthcoming and that a mandatory education requirement will be put in place through the administrative rule-making process.

Read the bill text.

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