Q:

Where can I get a certified copy made?

A:

Notaries make certified copies of original documents, although some documents are ineligible for copy certification by a notary. Some states do not allow notaries to certify copies of documents, and restrictions for this service often vary by state.

As of 2014, 34 states allow notaries to make certified copies. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri and Montana. The other states that offer this service include: Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The American Society of Notaries uses the term "attested copy," or "copy attestation," in place of "certified copy," except in states that specifically refer to the certification of documents in their laws and regulations. Notaries who make certified copies do so using one of three methods. In the first two methods, the notary either makes copies of the original documents, or they stand as witnesses while the customers requesting certification make copies on their own, and then the notary attests that the copies are correct. The third method allows notaries to look over copies of documents brought in by the customer and compare the copies to the original documents before attesting that the copies are correct. As of 2014, only 16 states allow notaries to use the comparison method to certify copies.


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