The Colorado Secretary of State has listed common mistakes for notary publics to avoid on their website. Of course, all of these mistakes are also covered in our Colorado Notary Training, but since the state has specifically mentioned them, we feel it's essential to cover them here too. It can also help you pass the notary exam. This is part three in a four-part series of blog posts.
When notary publics apply to the state of Colorado, the name that is used on their application becomes their official notary name. This official notary name must be used in any statement that requires the notary public's name, including use on the notarial certificate when notarizing any type of authorized document. If the notary public has questions about his or her official name, it can be found on the notary public's commission certificate. To make it easy to use the right name, the notary public should apply using the name that the notary public desires to use as the official name.
As an example, if the notary public's official name is "John Q. Public," the notary public MAY NOT write "I, John Public, notary public in and for said county and state..." since the notary public is leaving out the middle initial in the official name. The official name of "John Q. Public" must always be used.
In addition, the notary public must sign all notarizations with a consistent signature. This signature is put on file with the Colorado Secretary of State's office when the notary public submits his or her application. The signature used on the application is the one that is used as the official signature so the applicant should be sure to sign the document in a manner that is easy for the applicant to replicate when notarizing documents after the commission is approved.
The name on the notary public's seal must also match the official name. The notary public is the one that is responsible for being sure that the notary public's notary seal is in compliance with notary law. This includes the way the seal should look and the information that is required to be on the seal. All of this information is covered in our Colorado Notary Training Online and the notary handbook. The notary public should proofread the seal upon receiving it from wherever it is purchased. In addition to the name matching the official name, the notary ID number and commission expiration date must also be exactly correct.