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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Copy Certification By Document Custodian Of Birth Certificate?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesAs a California Notary, I have been asked to execute a Copy Certification by Document Custodian for a birth certificate. Am I allowed to do this, and do both parents or just one need to sign?-P.N., Foster City, California

Copy certification by document custodian is not appropriate for vital records (birth, marriage, death certificates), since originals of these documents are retained by public agencies. Anyone requesting certified copies of vital records should be directed to the agency that holds the original — either the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, duly-appointed local registrar or county recorder of the county where the birth, death or marriage occurred. (Health and Safety Code, Section 103545)

If the vital record is from a foreign country, then you should tell them to contact that country’s government for information on how to obtain a certified copy of a vital record, or they could contact the embassy or consulate of that country to see if a Notary working there could assist them.

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

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Laury Smith

20 Jun 2017

I am being asked to certify a copy of an original vehicle title for the State of Georgia. Can I do this and if yes, what is the name of the form.

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2017

Hello. You may only certify copies documents that are not public records nor publicly recorded documents for which certified copies of which are available from an official source. (OCGA 45-17-8[a][6])

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