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How to do a "True Copy" notarization in California?

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Which documents cannot be certified as a copy by a California notary (no exceptions)?

Notaries in California CANNOT certify copies of vital records, court documents, and any publicly recordable documents. Examples of vital records include birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates.

What documents are allowed to do true copy notarization in California?

Powers of Attorney. In California, a notary public can certify copies of powers of attorney. A certified copy of a power of attorney that has been certified by a notary public has the same force and effect as the original power of attorney.

A suggested format for the certification is shown below. Other formats with similar wording

may also be acceptable.

What should I do if I have documents other than powers of attorney that need notarized as a true copy?

The national notary association suggests doing it in the following procedure.

The permanent keeper of the document — the document custodian — certifies the copy, not the Notary. The custodian makes a photocopy of the original document, makes a written statement that the copy is true, correct, and complete, signs that statement before a Notary, is identified by the Notary, and takes an oath or affirmation regarding the truthfulness of the statement. The Notary, having witnessed the signing, identified the signer through satisfactory evidence and administered the oath or affirmation, executes a jurat.

The written statement may be drafted like this. Please note that this statement should be notarized.

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