Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

Can I Notarize A Birth Certificate Requested In Another Country?

New Hotline Resized 3I 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.


Add your comment

Tessa Y. Jackson

12 Aug 2014

These hotline tips are very informative, if followed we notaries can help our clients and keep ourselves out of hotwater.


13 Aug 2014

I look forward to every tip I can get. Thanks.

Carmen Hudson

05 Oct 2015

Help line tips is the best to keep you well informed and help us as Notary to perform safe, secure and acknowledged document's Notarizations.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.