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What Would You Do: The Case Of The Birth Certificate And The Near Newlyweds

Bride---Groom-Paperwork.jpgThe NNA Hotline receives hundreds of calls daily from Notaries nationwide who find themselves in challenging signing situations. To help boost your knowledge of Notary Best Practices, we have created a series of scenarios based on actual signings, and ask you to weigh in on what you would do if faced with a similar situation.

Notaries often get calls requesting last minute notarizations. In this case, the signer is a nervous-sounding bride-to-be who requires your assistance. You agree to meet her and her fiancé at a nearby coffee shop.

When you arrive with your seal and journal, the couple is waiting for you. They present their state-issued driver’s licenses and proceed to pull out two birth certificates, from their respective birth states.

“We found out this morning from our wedding planner that we need to have our birth certificates notarized in order to get our marriage license,” the bride-to-be tells you. “We’ve asked several Notaries, and they’ve refused to help us.”

“We are getting married next Saturday,” says the groom-to-be. “So we’re really hoping you can help us out. We’ll even pay you double your regular fee!”

Both of the certificates contain an official-looking seal, but you aren’t able to tell if they are photocopies or not. The couple has no other documents or certificates with them.

You want to assist the couple but the question is: Can you perform this notarization?Why or why not?

What Would You Do?

To participate in this week’s “What Would You Do” scenario, share your answer with theNNA Facebook Community. We may mention your response in next week’s Bulletin, when we offer the best possible answer(s) to this common Notarial challenge.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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1 Comment

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Rosalind D Moore

07 Dec 2015

I would not notarize. California law stipulates no notary can notarize vital records (birth, marriage, death, certificates.)

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