|What I like about RULONA as recommended by the Uniform Law Commission and adopted by my state is that, in 12 days I'll be able to decline any request for notarial services except unfair discrimination that's forbidden by some law other than the notary law (like on the basis of race or religion). If they were to restore the ability to make certified copies, I'd be able to turn down requests that didn't smell right.|
But if we're going to allow certified copies in this day and age, we have to deal with digital documents, because more and more documents are "born digital". The problem with digital documents is that nothing is an original in the same sense as a paper document. The author gets into Microsoft Word. As she works, there is one copy in the cache inside the microprocessor, another copy in the RAM, another copy on the hard drive, and another copy of each page in the graphics processor. When the author is finished and closes Word, the copy on the hard drive gets synced to the copy in the cloud.
Some legislatures have defined certain digital documents to be "originals" but that's a legal fiction. In reality, all digital documents are copies, so if you want to make a certified copy of a digital document, you are always making a copy of a copy. So if notaries are going to be making certified copies of digital documents, there ought to be training about when it makes sense to do this, and when it doesn't. There should also be the flexibility to refuse requests that are suspicious or insecure.