Notaries aren’t fairy godmothers with magic wands

Fair with magic wand with an X
Maybe it’s just me but it seems that people don’t have a clue what can and cannot be notarized. It’s possible that some people know but don’t care. Last week I had two calls from people saying they had been told to have something notarized. Somehow we’re supposed to be like fairy godmothers with a magic wand to grant whatever is asked.

A notary can’t make a certified copy of a government ID.

The first caller had a government form which doesn’t require a notary. This person was told that they needed to have a notarized copy of their passport, driver license and other ID. I explained that these were government issued IDs and “certified” copies would have to be obtained from the issuing agency.

It seems to me that the ID should have been presented to the person at the office collecting the form and that government agency employ would verify the ID. I directed him back to the office where he was given these instructions.

Get the proper form from an attorney.

The second caller had a referral letter from a former employer. An apartment manager had told her that in order for the letter to be valid, it would have to be notarized. There were many things wrong with this scenario but I explained to the caller that I couldn’t simply stamp and sign a letter without a proper notary certificate nor could I tell her the type of certificate needed. Second, the letter maker would be the person appearing if they determined the proper notary certificate.

If your business routinely requires verification of a document or types of documents, see an attorney and get a proper form. Making it up and getting it notarized doesn’t make it legal even if you can find a notary to do it.

If you have questions about whether or not I can help, please ask but sometimes reading the articles on this blog will answer your questions.

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