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Hotline Tip: How To Perform A Copy Certification By Document Custodian

In states where Notaries are prohibited from certifying copies of documents, there is an alternative procedure called a copy certification by document custodian. This procedure allows a person in permanent possession of an original document to sign a written declaration that a copy of it is identical to the original, and take an oath or affirmation before the Notary.

The custodian’s signature is then notarized on the written declaration using jurat wording. In essence, a copy certification by document custodian is an affidavit signed and sworn to by the custodian with a jurat as the notarization. Remember, the custodian, not the Notary, guarantees that the copy is an authentic reproduction of the original.


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Su McMillan

21 Jan 2015

How can I get this form? I can't find it on the internet. Please advise as soon as possible. Thank you very much.

Gloria Herrera

26 Feb 2015

Can you please provide me with a copy of this form?

National Notary Association

27 Feb 2015

Hello Gloria. Not all states permit copy certification by document custodian or have statutory wording for this notarial act. What state are you commissioned in, please?

03 Mar 2015

Does CA commission allow this?

National Notary Association

04 Mar 2015

Hello. Yes, California permits copy certification by document custodian, except in the case of vital records such as birth, death and marriage certificates. Persons requesting certified copies of vital records need to contact the agency that holds the original record.


16 Apr 2015

Hi, I am in the process of renewing my passport in NY. I need to get the copy of my driving license, passport , marriage certificate and my permanent resident card notarized but I found out from my my bank that state of new jersey does not allow copy certification. Can I use the Copy Certification By Document Custodian instead and is it allowed in NJ Thanks

National Notary Association

17 Apr 2015

Hello. You would need to contact the agency you are submitting the information to and ask them if they would accept copy certification by document custodian as an alternative.


30 Apr 2015

so is there a form that CA notaries can order to use for Document Custodian?

National Notary Association

04 May 2015

Hi Amy. We don't have a specific CA form for copy certification by document custodian, however we do have some general information in our CA Notary Law Primer, which is available here:


15 Jun 2015

The National Notary Association used to have CA Copy Certification By Document Custodian forms. I just found out last Friday that we are no longer supposed to use them. Why did you stop producing them? The form made my job much easier since I have quite a few people who need copies of passports, documents and other items copy certified by the document custodian.

National Notary Association

17 Jun 2015

Hello. We previously offered the certificate because it was a common practice for Notaries in states that do not allow Notaries copy certifications (as is the case in CA with some exceptions) to suggest a copy certification by document custodian as an alternative. We discontinued the form because it we feel it's best for the Notary not to make this suggestion to the client, as doing so could easily broach providing improper advice.

30 Jun 2015

The signer is requesting a certified copy by document custodian. Seeing the state does not offer a form; and the signer is requesting this type of notarization. Is this document okay, if i were to add the correct verbiage to the top of the document?

National Notary Association

07 Jul 2015

Hello. Notaries should not recommend a copy certification alternative, make claims concerning the legality of the procedure or provide a form to assist the customer unless the Notary is an attorney licensed to practice law. However, if your customer presents a document with statements concerning the accuracy of a photocopy, you may then notarize the customer’s signature.


25 Sep 2015

Does New Jersey allow use of the "Copy Certification by Document Custodian" form? Many of my Customers keep asking me to notarize copies of drivers licenses, passports, etc. Thank you.

National Notary Association

25 Sep 2015

Hello. No, New Jersey does not authorize its Notaries to certify copies of documents.


02 Oct 2015

Hello, I was just approached to see if I can notarized a California Copy Certification by Document Custodian, however after reviewing some of the comments it seems that it is really no recommended. Is this correct and should not perform the notarization. The company that I work for does business worldwide and is in need of this price of document. Please advise with your best response. Thanks in advance! Maria

National Notary Association

02 Oct 2015

Hello Maria. So we can better answer your question, can you confirm what state you are commissioned in (is California correct?) and tell us what type of document is involved? If you need a fast response, you can also contact our Hotline team at for assistance. Thanks!

Chelsea Duncan

30 Nov 2015

Does Indiana allow for this?

National Notary Association

01 Dec 2015

Hello Chelsea. According to the Indiana Secretary of State's Notary Guide, page 55, "A notary public is allowed to certify or attest to a copy of a document. The signer of the document does not state anything about the document; only the notary does. You must carefully make the copy or oversee its making in order to make sure that the copy is true and accurate. The transcription and reproduction must be full, true and accurate. It is best to photocopy the document. A certified copy does NOT have to be made from an original copy unless specified. Personal appearance is required from the person requesting the certified copy.A photograph cannot be notarized. A statement about the photograph may be notarized though."

20 May 2016

How can I obtain this form??

National Notary Association

20 May 2016

Hello Kim. To help us answer your question can you tell us what state you are commissioned in, please?

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