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Can I certify a copy of a foreign birth certificate?

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Hello, I know that I am not permitted to notarize copies of US birth certificates. That said, am I permitted to either: (a) make a certified copy of a foreign birth certificate; or (b) notarize a jurat whereby the signer affirms that the attached document (i.e., copy of foreign birth certificate) is a true copy of the original?J. W., Texas

You are correct that a Notary cannot make a certified copy of a vital record. The Texas Secretary of State FAQs discussing this prohibition does not explicitly mention whether foreign vital records are included. The NNA recommends against certifying a copy of a foreign birth certificate unless you can be satisfied that the vital record presented to you comes from a country that issues the original to the bearer. If that is the case, there really is no difference between an original birth certificate in the hands of the person to whom it belongs and any other privately held document that you can copy certify. The answer to your second question is yes. If your customer is willing to write a statement as you suggest and sign the statement, then you, as the Notary, can notarize his/her signature on the statement.

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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23 Oct 2023

Is it always necessary to notarize for each signature, even if there is only a space for the notary, as in a husband and wife selling a property

National Notary Association

25 Oct 2023

Hello. You would need to ask the document receiving agency, or a qualified professional authorized to provide you legal advice about a document's requirements such as an attorney, to answer what signatures on a document require notarization.

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