Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

What is a Notary Public ?

A notary public is a person commissioned to serve the public as a neutral witness. A notary performs notarial acts that are allowed or required by law. A notary is a verifier, an authenticator, an impartial agent for the state, a public recorder of acts, and an unbiased, official witness.

Can I perform a remote notarization of wills?

There are special restrictions for such notarizations. A notary may not notarize a will or codicil or any acknowledgment required under sections 15-11-502 or 15-11-504, C.R.S., except as specifically provided in the Colorado Uniform Electronic Wills Act (HB 21-1004, effective January 21, 2021; amended by SB 21-266, effective July 2, 2021), codified at sections 15-11-1301 to 15-11-1311, C.R.S.

What are the powers and duties of a notary?

A notary’s duty is to be a neutral witness to the signing of documents. A notary makes sure that signers are who they say they are and have entered into agreements knowingly and willingly.

Notaries in Colorado can administer oaths and affirmations and certify copies. They can also take acknowledgements, depositions, witness signatures, affidavits, verifications, and other sworn testimony or statements.

What is an acknowledgement?

In an acknowledgment, the notary is guaranteeing that:

The signer was in the notary’s presence,

The notary identified the signer, and

The signer acknowledged that the signature on the document is his or hers.

Technically, acknowledgments don’t have to be signed in the notary’s presence. However, the notarization must take place in the signer’s presence.

How is a witnessing signature ?

When a signer signs a document in a notary’s physical presence, the notary has witnessed a signature. The certificate may use words such as “signed before me”.

The signer was in the notary’s presence,

The notary identified the signer, and

The notary watched the signer sign.

What is an electronic notarization ?

An electronic notarization is a document in electronic format that is signed and notarized electronically, then filed or transmitted electronically to its intended destination. It is used in transactions between private parties who agree to it.

Electronic notarization does not mean remote notarization. As with all notarizations, the signer must appear in the physical presence of the notary.