I have a client who has moved to Mexico. Her son is a U.S. citizen. She tried to enroll him in school and Mexican officials told her they needed her son’s birth certificate with an apostille attached from the U.S. The family only has a copy of the birth certificate — not the original. They want me to notarize the copy so they can send away for the apostille. Am I allowed to do this? – A.V., CA In the United States, vital records are maintained in the office of the county where a person is born. Generally, that office is authorized to certified copies of birth records. A Notary Public in California is not authorized by law to notarize a copy of a birth certificate. Once the certified copy is obtained from the appropriate county, your client may contact the Secretary of State of the state in which the person was born for assistance in obtaining an apostille for her son’s birth records. 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 David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association. 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.