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Tip: Certified Copy

In California, notaries may only certify copies of power of attorney documents. Another type of certified copy is called a certified copy by document custodian which requires a signer to swear under oath that the copy is a true and complete copy of the original. It is prudent that the notary witness the copying of the document, or at least carefully inspect the document and copies to be absolutely sure that the copy is correct. Its also not a bad idea for the notary to make a small signed note on the document that they have inspected the copy against the original and that its a true copy. Many individuals will ask a notary to complete a certified copy of a vital record such as a birth, marriage, or death certificate, but this is not a legal notary act in any state.

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