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News > The Facts on Notarization vs. Certification of Documents
The Facts on Notarization vs. Certification of Documents

Posted 9/3/2008   Updated 9/3/2008 Email story   Print story


from 48th Fighter Wing
Legal Office

9/3/2008 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Okay so you have a document and you think you need it notarized. First consider whether you really need a notarization or if what you need is a certification. The distinction between the two is significant; notaries are simple to obtain, but certifications are rarely issued by your base legal office

Notarization --The Facts
· Only for your identity and signature!
· A notary acts as an official and unbiased witness to your identity and signature
· A notary has the authority to administer oaths and affirmations
· At the time of signing and notarization the document must be completely filled out

Certification -The Facts
· Certification of a document is not the same as notarizing a document
· Certification states that the document is a true and accurate copy of the original
· A certification requires verification of the authenticity of the document represented by the client to be the original
     o Only the entity that created the document or maintains the original document or electronic record as part of its official responsibilities can make this verification-In other words if the Legal Office did not prepare the document, they cannot certify it!

What the Notary Can Do
· The notary may notarize someone else's certification of authenticity
· The notary may notarize a signed statement or affidavit from you that states that a document is a true and accurate copy of the original record

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