Sunday, August 19, 2007

Certifying a True Copy of an Original

Notaries are sometimes requested by individuals to certify a copy of a document as a true copy of the original (As I was yesterday). Some states do allow a notary to perform this function (see below), but not Michigan. A Michigan notary can only acknowledge the signature of the person making the original or certified true copy statement on the document. Per the Michigan Secretary of State, in this situation an individual can print or type: "this is a true copy of my _____ " (list type of document) directly on the document. The notary would then notarize the signature. Otherwise, only the issuer of the document (ex: Secretary of State for a driver's license, a university for school records, etc.) can certify a true copy of an original.

The U.S. State Department compiled a list in 2005 (found on Wikipedia) indicating which states are allowed to certify copies and under what circumstances.

1 comment:

Alex Y. said...

I received an e-mail comment regarding this post that I think is very interesting (I'll keep the party anonymous):

"The SOS screwed up on their directive for the C/T/C procedure, because clearly it should be a sworn statement and not an acknowledgement."

What an astute observation. Clearly, the party is swearing to the contents of the document. In this case, they're swearing that the copy is a true copy of the original. So the wording should be "Subscribed and sworn to by..." As notaries, it's not up to us to decide on the wording. But the Secretary of State clearly has it wrong.