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How to Certify a Copy of a Document?

A certified copy of a legal paper is a reproduction of the original document consisting of an approval that it is the authentic replica of the original document.

Not every state in the USA authorizes mobile notary professionals to certify copies. Louisiana is one such state that does not authorize mobile notaries to certify copies of different types of legal documents. Under Louisiana law, mobile notary services in Louisiana have no authority to prepare certified copies of any legal document.

What’s the Alternative?

Certifying copies of legal documents is a very common request in Louisiana. Therefore, the office of the Secretary of State of Louisiana permits the procedure of copy certification by document custodian. Moreover, the office of the Secretary of State of Louisiana recommends the following procedure of copy certification for Louisiana mobile notaries.

The mobile notary in Louisiana should ask the individual presenting the legal document to generate a photocopy of the document and prepare a written statement stating that the photocopy is a real copy of the original document. The written statement can be written on or attached to the document’s photocopy itself.

The individual is then required to verify under oath administered by the Louisiana mobile notary that the written statement attached to the document is true. That’s how a mobile notary in Louisiana notarizes the keeper’s signature on a statement approving the copy’s authenticity.

How Does a Notary Certify a Copy of Legal Documents?

Generally, the copy certification process followed by mobile notary agents is as follows:

  • The custodian or keeper of the legal document appeals for a certified copy of the same. They schedule an appointment with a mobile notary public to get the original document certified.
  • Once the keeper provides the mobile notary agent with the original document and its copy, the mobile notary compares the original document with its copy to make sure that the copy of the legal paper is identical to the original. At times, it is the mobile notary who generates the copy on receiving the original document from the keeper.
  • Once the mobile notary verifies that the photocopy is authentic, they affix a notarial certificate to the copy of the document stating that the copy is genuine and complete.

This is how mobile notaries generally endorse the copy of a legal document. However, if you are in Louisiana, you would have to opt for the procedure of copy certification by a document custodian. Mobile notary services in Louisiana may not recommend you about the alternative of copy certification as they are not authorized to provide you with unofficial legal advice. When you approach a mobile notary in Louisiana, they may tell you that Louisiana State law does not authorize them to notarize a copy of your document. They may also say that in such situations they may be able to endorse your signature on a written declaration wherein they confirm the copy. In simple words, instead of telling or pressuring you to go for copy certification by a document custodian, they would let you choose the option if you wish.


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