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May I Notarize A Translated Foreign Birth Certificate?

New Hotline Resized 3My co-worker wants me to notarize an English translation of a Japanese birth certificate. Can I do it?K.P., California

It’s unclear from your question exactly what you are being asked to do, but there are two possibilities. First, your co-worker may want you to certify that the English translation of the Japanese birth certificate is accurate. Under California law you are not permitted to certify the accuracy of a translation because it isn’t considered an authorized notarial act. Second, your co-worker may want you to notarize a declaration signed by the translator of the Japanese birth certificate stating that the translation is accurate. This you can do, because you are notarizing the signature of the translator on the declaration.

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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31 May 2018


National Notary Association

01 Jun 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but we do not have enough information from your message to answer your question. Please contact our Hotline Team at and include the following information: 1. What state you are commissioned in, 2. What type of notarization you are being asked to perform and 3. What type of document you are being asked to notarize.


04 Jun 2018

Can a Florida Notary notarize a signature of an individual who only has a Government issue Identity Card?

National Notary Association

04 Jun 2018

Hello. Please see this link for the list of acceptable forms of identification in Florida and their requirements:

Nora Isabel Duque

08 Jun 2018

De mucho interes todos los boletines emitidos; reafirman; los conocimientosaprendidos.

Ana De la Rosa

28 Sep 2020

I was asked to notarize a foreign birth certificate (in English). I told the client I could not notarize any birth certificates, that it was illegal and gave him a printout where it states this. that of course applied to US documents but, not sure for foreign birth certificates. I told him I could not even sign a copy of the birth certificates.


27 Jan 2021

you cant notarize a foreign Birth Certificate but you can notarize a translation of a foreign Birth certificate ! it usually needs a jurat !

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2021

Hello. Notaries cannot certify translations of documents, but may notarize the signature of a translator declaring in a written statement a translation is accurate. Please see here for more information:

Kelly Shom

18 Apr 2022

Can I notarize a copy of a canadian birth certificate?

National Notary Association

19 Apr 2022

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

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