Frequently Asked Questions

What is a notary?

A Notary Public, or notary, is a trusted person of integrity appointed by the government to help with a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of critical documents. They have been given this role by the state government, usually by the secretary of state.

Notaries act as a fair and neutral witness when important papers are signed. Their job is to verify the signer's identity, prevent fraud, and ensure awareness and understanding before the document is signed.

Notaries are official "ministerial" officials who must follow specific written rules without personal discretion, unlike "judicial" officials.

What are the common types of notarization?


An act in which a notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who personally appeared before the notary and admitted having signed the document.

Copy Certification

An act in which a notary certifies that a copy of a document is a true and accurate reproduction of the original.

Jurats (Verification of Oath or Affirmation)

An act in which a notary certifies having watched the signing of a document and administered an oath or affirmation.

  • Affirmations: A spoken, solemn promise on one's personal honor, with no reference to a Supreme Being, that is made before a notary in relation to a jurat or other notary act, or as a notary act in its own right.

  • Oaths: A spoken, solemn promise to a Supreme Being that is made before a notary in relation to a jurat or other notary act, or as a notary act in its own right.

Signature Witnessing or Attesting

An act in which a notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who personally appeared before the notary and watched the signing of a document.

What kinds of ID can I show to a notary?

You can show a notary any ID card given by the state or federal government that has a picture of you or your signature on it.

For example:

  • Colorado driver's license or Colorado ID

  • Signed U.S. passport

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs Card or Tribal Card

  • Military ID or common access card that has your photograph

  • Out of state driver's license or state ID card.

  • State, county and local government IDs

  • Permanent resident card, or "green card," issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

  • Foreign passport

Sometimes, a notary might ask you to give more information or show extra identification to make sure they know who you are. This is to make sure the notary is confident about your identity and can do their job properly.

Please note Social Security cards, birth or marriage certificates, credit cards, school IDs, library cards and temporary driver's licenses are not acceptable forms of ID for notarization purposes.

What if I don't have an acceptable ID?

On very rare occasions when a client doesn't have an acceptable ID and cannot get one, you can still get your signature notarized. We can use a credible witness affidavit, a sworn statement from someone the notary knows or can identify with an up-to-date passport, driver's license, or government-issued ID that is valid or expired within the past year.

What is a Credible Witness?

  • A credible witness is a person who vouches for a signer’s identity.

  • A credible witness must personally know the signer.

  • This person must be there with you in person to sign the affidavit.

The credible witness will sign an affidavit stating that:

  1. The person appearing before the notary is personally known to the credible witness and is the person whose name appears on the document in question.

  2. The credible witness reasonably believes that the document signer does not possess an acceptable form of identification.

  3. The credible witness reasonably believes that the circumstances of the document signer are such that obtaining an acceptable form of identification would be very difficult or impossible.

  4. The credible witness does not have a financial interest in nor is a party to the transaction.

Upon signing the affidavit, the signer will swear an oath or affirmation to the notary that the contents of the affidavit are true.

However, credible witnesses cannot be used for convenience, and we can NOT provide credible witnesses. If your driver's license has expired, please renew it before the appointment. If you left your ID card at home, you may need to reschedule and bring it the next time. Please note that the credible witness's sworn statement must be obtained before the notarial act for the document signer.

What types of services cannot be performed by a notary?

A notary cannot:

  1. Help people write legal documents, give legal advice, or ask for payment for any legal services;

  2. Be an expert on immigration matters;

  3. Represent someone in a court or government immigration case;

  4. Get paid for doing any of these things.

Please note a notary is not a lawyer. Notaries act as a fair and neutral witness to you signing important documents. They verify the signer's identity, prevent fraud, and ensure the signer understands the document before signing.

What if I can't sign a document due to physical limitations?

You may be able to do a notarization with a signature by mark or signature by proxy. However, if the signer can produce a legible signature, even if abnormal, such a signature is preferred, and the signature by mark or proxy is not necessary.

Signature by Mark

A signature by mark is an alternative to writing a full signature. When a client, due to illiteracy or physical disability, cannot sign his or her name, the client may use a symbol or mark, such as "X," to sign a document. A ‘mark’ is any symbol made by the signer that represents execution of the document such as an ‘X’, a scribble, a stamp, or even a thumbprint. For the mark to be considered a signature, it must be witnessed by two individuals other than the Notary.

Signature by Mark Witness Requirements

  • Both must be present for marking

  • Both should be impartial

  • Both must sign document

  • One witness or the Notary will print signer’s name next to mark

Signature by Proxy

In Colorado, when a client is unable to sign due to physical limitations, a notary may still notarize the document. If it seems that the person cannot sign by writing or making a mark, a third party -- not the notary -- can sign on their behalf. This is known as a signature by proxy. This proxy signature must be done in the presence and direction of the client and in the presence of the notary.

If the client is unable to communicate verbally or in writing, the notary may use signals or electronic/mechanical means to communicate with the client and complete the notarial certificate or transaction.

Can someone hold or guide a signer’s hand instead of using a proxy signature?

It is never appropriate for another person to physically hold and move a signer’s arm to make a signature if the signer is unable to write without help. The signer must sign on their own free will.

How do notaries handle the dating of notarization on documents?

Notaries always use the current date when notarizing a signature and never include a date in the future or past on any notarial certificates. Using the current date is essential and ensures compliance with legal and ethical standards. Notaries have a responsibility to ensure that the date next to the signer's name aligns with the actual signing date. This ensures the validity and integrity of the notarization process, giving you peace of mind in every transaction.

What if my document has blank spaces?

Documents should not be notarized unless they are complete and have no blank spaces. The signer must either know how to complete the blank space, or seek guidance from the document originator, document recipient, attorney, or some other person connected to the transaction—but NOT the notary. 

On rare occasions, a document requiring more than one signature must be circulated to collect the separate signatures and notary certificates. Other documents, such as adoption papers and recordable instruments, may have blank spaces that must be filled in later. The signer would also need to seek this guidance from others if he/she actually does not know if blanks in the document should be complete now, or if they are meant to be completed later.

In all other cases, the notary will ask that all blank spaces in a document's text be filled in before a notarization is performed. However, please avoid signing or dating the document beforehand, as some documents require signing and dating in the presence of a notary.

What type of documents cannot be notarized?

There are certain documents a notary can't notarize.

For example:

  • Photographs

  • Birth Certificates

  • Inventions

  • Artistic Works

  • Paintings

  • Bank Checks

Can we meet remotely for the notarization?

At this time, we do not offer remote online notarizations.

If you have more questions or need more information, please let us know!

Located in Pueblo, CO

Email Support@NoteItNotaryMobile.com


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