Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Can I Certify A Copy Of A Marriage Certificate?

I have been asked by signers to notarize a copy of their marriage certificate. The signer has written "I certify this to be a true copy of my marriage certificate" on a document, to which he has asked if I could attach a jurat. Is this a permissible notarial act? L.T., Raleigh, NC

Since North Carolina Notaries may not perform copy certifications, the signer is asking you to notarize his or her signature on a statement that a photocopy of a marriage license is a true and correct copy of the original certificate. While this procedure, called "Copy Certification by Document Custodian," is a permissible act for many types of documents, it may not be used to notarize any vital records, including marriage, birth, death, or divorce certificates. Therefore, unfortunately, you would not be able to notarize or otherwise "certify" your signer’s marriage certificate.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

Additional Resources:
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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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