Colorado to Make Remote Notarization Authorization Permanent

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In one of the many responses necessary to continue crucial business and legal services at the onset of the current pandemic, Colorado notaries became authorized to perform remote notarizations under Governor Polis’s Executive Order D 2020 019 dated March 27, 2020.  That authorization has now been made permanent by SB 20-096 which was signed into law on June 26, 2020.  The bill will codify the current temporary rules for remote notarization until December 31, 2020.  The bill will then take effect on December 31, 2020, along with permanent rules.

A few key highlights of the Colorado remote notary authorization requirements are:

  • Only currently commissioned Colorado notary publics in good standing can perform remote notarizations
  • Both the notary and the signer(s) must be located within the borders of the State of Colorado at the time of the signing.
  • The notarial act must be performed in real-time using audio-video technology, and the act must be recorded and securely stored for a period of 10 years.  Consent for the recording and storage of the video call must be obtained from the signer and be on the recording.
  • The signer must have a hard copy of the document to sign at their location, will sign the document(s) in the presence of the notary public via real time audio-video technology, and then must transmit an electronic copy of the signed document to the notary public the same day.  Upon receipt, the notary public will print the signed document at their location and apply their ink signature and notary stamp.  
  • The notarial certificate must include that the notarial act was performed using audio-video technology.
  • There are additional requirements for the remote notarization and witnessing of Wills, which will be covered as separate post on this blog in the near future.

The above process is also referred to as RIN (remote ink-signed notarization).  This is not the same as RON, which is remote online/electronic notarization.  Electronic notarization or RON requires the use of software to meet the specific requirements of the electronic notarization rule, as well as a unique DAN (“Document Authentication Number”) for each transaction issued to the notary by the Secretary of State.

For the full list of requirements, notaries should review Rule 5 of the Notary Public Program Rules.  Both the rules and an excellent FAQ are available on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.

Colorado notaries are not required to perform remote notarizations and can continue to perform notarizations in person according to the rules; however, this important ability to perform notarizations remotely allows Colorado notary publics and their signers to transact important business from the safety of their own home or office during these uncertain times.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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