How to Obtain a Certified Passport Copy

In the event you are asked to provide a certified copy of a passport, you’ll need to find a notary. Notaries certify a signature is real upon establishing with photo identification that the person signing a document is the person he claims to be on the document. A notary watches a person sign a will, and, upon an identification check, certifies that the signature is that of the person named.

In certain jurisdictions, notaries may certify that a copy of a document is authentic. This is called copy certification. While in certain jurisdictions you may be able to take a copy of an original document and the actual document to a notary for certification, in other jurisdictions you give the notary the original document and the notary makes a copy to certify. 

Not all documents can be certified in this way. Most jurisdictions don’t allow copy certification of records like birth or death certificates. State agencies hold original documents, so you’ll need to request that agency (either in person or online) for a certified copy. This often costs a fee. 

Since the passport office and DMV do not provide certified copies, many jurisdictions do not regulate copy certification of these documents. Some notaries don’t certify copies as a result of the ambiguity. Notaries can, however, do a procedure known as copy certification by document custodian. 


Copy Certification by Document Custodian

The person looking to get a document certified custodies the document in this case. The document custodian has permanent possession of the document and certifies it. They do so by first presenting a copy of the passport you want to have certified.

You must give the notary a sworn statement or affidavit stating the attached copy is a true copy of your passport and attach the correct notary certification language to the affidavit. Provide the notary with acceptable identification, and then you’ll be asked to swear or affirm verbally that the attached copy is a true and correct copy of your passport. You sign the affidavit, and the notary signs and stamps the notary certification.


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