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Ways to make certified copies
Posted by VT_Syrup of VT on 7/9/24 9:05am Msg #648822
In Msg #648803 Bella Tarubarova asked about whether the notary has to make the copy, or if the requester can make the copy and the notary can compare the copy to the original before certifying it. I'd like to discuss a broader question; what are some lawful ways to perform the copying operation before the notary certifies it, that haven't been mentioned in this forum.

It varies from state to state; I'd like to discuss RULONA states like VT, since those rules are less restrictive than in some states. The Vermont law is at

The basic authority is given at 5304 (10)

'"Notarial act" means an act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or an electronic record, that a notary public may perform under the law of this State. The term includes...certifying or attesting a copy...."

Later there is 5362 (c) "A notary public may certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record. "

And then the part that describes how the copy is to be made: 5363 (e) "Copies. A notary public who certifies or attests a copy of a record or an item that was copied shall determine that the copy is a full, true, and accurate transcription or reproduction of the record or item."

When thinking about how copies are to be made, I think we should remember notaries in some states have been allowed to make certified copies for many decades, if not centuries. It is only since the 1970s that photocopiers have been available in most large businesses, and in small businesses only since the 1990s or so. So in the past notaries used to make copies by hand writing them, or typing them. When I took typing in the 1970s in high school, using carbon paper to make copies was part of the lessons. So I take it that unless a law has words like "photocopy", typing or handwriting a copy is still allowed.

Also allowed is moving back and forth between electronic and paper copies. Client want's a certified copy of a text message displayed on a cell phone screen? Why not? Once my state authorizes electronic notarization, client wants a certified copy of a paper notarized document because the recipient only accepts uploads, not paper mail? Sure.

Also, I see nothing in RULONA that says who makes the copy, just that the notary has to insure the accuracy and completeness of the document.

The biggest problem I see is making sure a paper copy of a PDF is a "is a full, true, and accurate transcription or reproduction". PDFs contain lots of metadata that doesn't show up on paper if you click the print button. For example, a field for the author and another for keywords. What if the keywords are "SPECIMEN VOID"? I have never seen any state notary manual give any guidelines for making a paper copy of an electronic document, even though many states authorize it.
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Messages in this Thread
 Ways to make certified copies - VT_Syrup on 7/9/24 9:05am
 Re: Ways to make certified copies -  Expeditor on 7/11/24 4:13pm
 Re: Ways to make certified copies - VT_Syrup on 7/12/24 7:52am
 Copy Certification By Document Custodian -  Roger_OH on 7/14/24 7:45pm

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