A notary can generally only certify your identity (by ID) and your willingness to sign a document, thats all.
A notary is not the issuer of a passport or a birth certificate. They are also not the authority that holds records of these important documents. So really, a notary cannot certify their accuracy. Foreign or private entities may not consider this when requesting the documents…
Instead, you, the signer, may certify by a sworn statement the validity of the document. This is a very common strategy our clients have used to satisfy their agencies.
Ultimately, a notary is unqualified to give legal advice. With tens of thousands of entities, we cannot never really know what a receiving agency desires, especially internationally. It’s best to find clarity with them in advance. Also take measures to seek qualified legal advice from an attorney if necessary.
Universities and foreign agencies often request “Certified Copies” of birth certificates, passports, and marriage certificates amongst other official records. As these receiving agencies have their own expectations for “Certification”, it is best to speak with them directly about exactly what they need. Notaries or officials in their jurisdictions may have different powers that California does not allow our notaries to perform. In other countries, a ‘notary’ may often be a high-ranking official, attorney, or judge that provide services or powers that we cannot. As notaries are not the official record holders or authorities for these documents, a notary is not allowed to authenticate these records. We are not attorneys, we are unable to provide legal advice. We also cannot know the procedures for international or domestic agencies. It is best to be in contact with them directly.
A notary is unable to declare the authenticity of a document but they are able to notarize the following documents:
Common document descriptions notarized:
A notary is able to certify a copy of “Power of Attorney”
This is one of the few notarial acts concerning “Certified Copies” that a California notary public can perform. it is a rigid process that requires a word for word review of the original power of attorney to ensure that it is in fact an exact copy.
“We cannot tell the future. We can tell the future who we will be,
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Notary is not so much about us, so much as it is about you. At some point you will arrive at an important and pivotal moment. It may be difficult, it may be exciting, it may be creative and hopeful.
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