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Can I Notarize Copies Of Documents From South Africa?

New Hotline Resized 3I have been asked to notarize a copy of a South African Passport, Marriage Certificate, Identity Book and Birth Certificate Retention/Exemption Letter for a signer with dual citizenship. Can I do this?T.P., California

Notaries Public in the State of California are not authorized to copy certify any of the documents listed in your question. However, if the person requesting this service wishes to write, in his own words, a statement about the copies being true and correct, you can notarize his/her signature on the statement. Do not instruct the signer to do this yourself, as doing so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law. Since the documents come from South Africa, the signer may wish to contact a South African consulate or embassy in your area to ask if a consular official can assist them with certifying copies of the documents.

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

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Helen Schatzlein

29 Jul 2019

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