The Colorado notary seal, often referred to as the "notary stamp," or "notary's official seal" or "official notary seal," is the instrument that the Colorado notary public uses when performing notarial duties when running a notary business such as notarizing documents in addition to the notary's signature. It's one of the notary supplies needed by a notary public as well as one of the investments needed to start your notary business.
Each state has its requirements for notary seals, and the requirements vary, so seals will be different depending on where the notary lives. The state of Colorado has many requirements for the official stamp, all of which are covered in our Colorado Notary Training Course. Other states require different notary seals.
A summary of Colorado's requirements for notary stamps appears below.
Two types of notary seals
There are currently two types of notary public seals that are acceptable for use in Colorado.
These are the old type and those that meet the new requirements that began on August 8, 2012.
The old type of Colorado notary stamp may only be used if purchased before August 8, 2012, and until a commission is renewed, so these should all be out of use by mid-2016. Since no one is permitted to purchase the old type, and anyone allowed to use the old type would have had to upgrade when their commissions expired, only the new requirements are covered below.
Notary embossing seals are not allowed in Colorado, so don't buy a seal embosser or embossed notary seal.
Requirements for notary stamps
The shape of the notary seal stamp
The official notary public seal must be a rectangular ink rubber stamp seal with a rectangular outline or border, but the law does not specify a specific size or color of ink. But remember that some notary stamp colors are more professional than others. Embossers may not be used. Notary embossers were more of a traditional method for sealing documents but inked rubber stamps are now required due to their ability to be photographically reproducible.
Inked rubber stamp color
To look more professional when using the required inked stamp, it's recommended to use blue or black ink, with blue being preferred by some since it stands out on documents that are likely printed in black ink. Others prefer black ink colors because it is more photographically reproducible and legible. In any case, you should have additional refill bottles on hand to refill your stamp.
Additional statutorily mandated information
The notary seal should contain the following items regarding the notary public's commission information inside of the rectangular (round notary stamp impressions are not permitted) border:
- The notary public's legal name.
- The words "NOTARY PUBLIC"
- The words "STATE OF COLORADO"
- The commission number of the notary public from the notary commission certificate
- The notary's commission expiration date
Information prohibited by Colorado's notary laws
The notary public's seal must not contain any other information printed within the outline or border. That means no cute symbols, characters, or icons can be on the seal.
The notary's seal must not contain the Colorado state seal. This differs from states like California, which require the state seal. To perform Colorado notary services, the notary seal must only contain the notary's printed information.
Colorado notary stamp requirements for a legally notarized document
The notary public's name on the notary seal must match the name on the notary public's notary commission certificate, which is the name that the notary public uses during the application process.
Notaries public must stamp their seal clearly in a location directly under or near their official signature. The seal may not be stamped over signatures, and stamping over document text should be avoided. This is so that the original document isn't made illegible by stamping over its text.
How to get a notary stamp
Notary seal vs. notary stamp
The terms notary seal and notary stamp are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. A notary seal is a physical imprint that must be placed on all official documents signed by a notary public. On the other hand, a notary stamp is simply an ink stamp that produces the same information as a seal but does not have to be physically stamped onto documents.
The notary seal is the impression made on the document by the stamping device.
Where does a notary place their stamp?
A notary typically places their stamp on the document they are certifying to indicate that it has been notarized. The notary should stamp near the signatory's signature inside the notarized document. The stamp placement varies depending on the size and layout of the document, but it is usually placed in a location that will be easily visible to anyone viewing the document. The stamp should not obscure any text or information on the document. After affixing their stamp, the Notary must sign and date the document. Following these steps provides assurance that the document has been properly notarized.
What is an embossing seal?
An embossing seal is a metal clamping device used to make a raised impression on paper or other materials. Embossing seals typically consist of two metal dies that fit together so that the design imprinted on one die appears raised on the other when the two are pressed together. Embossers are not allowed to be used in Colorado.
Do you need a notary seal?
The state of Colorado requires that each notary public has a notary seal.
Why is notary seal important?
A notary seal is an important part of a notarial act. It serves to identify the document as legitimate and having been signed or witnessed by an authorized individual (the notary public). The presence of a notary seal can help to prevent fraud, as it acts as a form of authentication for documents such as wills, deeds, contracts and other legal documents.
What is the best color for a notary stamp?
The best color for a notary stamp is black. Black ink is the most legible and durable, making it the most suitable color for your notary stamp. This will help ensure that all documents stamped with the seal are clearly visible and easy to read.
What to do when there is no room for your notary stamp
If you find yourself in a situation where there is no space or room for your notary stamp, you should use a securely attached notarial certificate. Be sure to keep these loose certificates on hand so that you have it readily available when needed. Additionally, you should record all the details of your notarial act in your journal, as this provides added protection against potential fraud.
If you need more information about the notary seal, you should check the notary handbook.