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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

2020 Notary Public Alert: COVID-19 Emergency allows for TEMPORARY remote notarization

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on the new procedures for remote notarization in Colorado.

April 1, 2020
2020 Notary Public Alert: COVID-19 Emergency allows for TEMPORARY remote notarization
by 
Anton V. Dworak

No,  the title is not an April Fool’s joke – it wouldn’t be funny anyway.   In order to try to keep doing business,  the Colorado Secretary of State has issued temporary standards and for remote notarizations.   Again, these are temporary rules and although no expiration date is stated,   I anticipate the rules to disappear when Governor Polis declares the emergency over.    The procedures are not the easiest to comply with and there’s no guidance as to what the result is if minor deviations occur.     Here’s a basic rundown of the rules:

  1. Both the notary and the individual must be located in Colorado;
  2. It requires both an audio and visual real-time link and it must be recorded.  In other words, you can’t record yourself signing and then send the recording to the notary;
  3. The notary must make statements on the recording regarding the nature of what’s being signed and where it will be stored;
  4. The notary must be able to verify identity.  This is typically done by drivers’ license.  Presumably you have to hold that up to the camera so the notary can get the information.   This will be fun with the new Colorado licenses!
  5. Witnesses cannot remote witness a document
  6. The notary block needs to indicate the method of notarization;  and
  7. It must be stored by the notary for 10 years;

Wills are even different requiring the original to be given to the notary within 15 days to verify it’s the same as was in the moving picture and a new stamp must be affixed affirming that.  While not best course,  wills don’t need to be witnessed and just need a notary, but keep in mind that Advanced Medical Directives (living wills)  require two disinterested witnesses with no exceptions.

At Lyons Gaddis our preference is to have the notary present.  We have taken procedures to limit interaction between persons to get things executed.  Nevertheless, if you’re interested in remote notarization we will of course accommodate your needs. 

The Business Attorneys at Lyons Gaddis are available to advise you in relation to remote notarization and other COVID-19 related matters impacting your current and future business operations.

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