Colorado enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (“UETA”) in 2002 to confer legal validity on electronic signatures. At the federal level, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-SIGN”) was passed by Congress in 2000.
Some states have addressed the needs for notarization of electronic documents and remote online notarization. In those states, documents executed and notarized remotely and electronically are valid and binding, provided that the notary is physically located in the state of execution for the applicable party.
Although Colorado has not yet authorized remote online notarization, it may happen soon—in part owing to the current business climate in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Even before the pandemic caused widespread disruption, Colorado legislators were advancing Senate Bill 96 to permit remote notarization of electronic documents. Now, trade groups have sent a letter to Governor Polis requesting that he take executive action to permit notarization by audio-video technology (at least on a temporary basis).
In addition, the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (“SECURE”) has been introduced in the U.S. Senate; it would allow immediate nationwide use of remote notarization in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
FGMC attorneys are monitoring Colorado and federal developments related to remote notarization. Contact us with any questions about how these developments can help you navigate the current emergency.