For a variety of legal reasons and situations, documents are very important. These documents include contracts, letters, settlement statements, agreements, and bills of sale. There are a variety of times you’ll need one of these documents, yet you don’t want to take the original out of its safe spot. A common one includes sending documents overseas. You’d never want to send the original and just hope it eventually gets sent back to you! The solution is to make a copy, one that is verified and still able to be used in legal situations.

Louisiana allows notaries to make certified copies of documents as long as the original document is not a publicly recorded document. In order for these documents to be considered “just as good” as the original, you’ll need it to be handled by a notary. We have one such notary at Ellen Cronin Badeaux if you need these services in the Covington, LA area. You’ve probably heard of our law firm representing many clients for divorces, personal injury, adoptions, criminal defence, and more. Are you looking for a trusted notary service? We will help you complete this task!

A few pieces of advice of getting a certified copy:

– Always confirm beforehand that you’re bringing the original. You cannot make a copy of a copy; even a notary cannot certify a document if it is a copy.

– Remember, it must be a document that is not a public record or otherwise forbidden by law. Examples of publicly recorded documents are divorce decrees, deeds, mortgages, entity documents, birth certificates, and marriage licenses. For a document like this, you’ll need to contact the vital records office in the state where it was originally issued.

– Make a copy of the document on white paper; do not use coloured paper. This is true even if the original document is not on white paper. A coloured document will not be accepted as legal.

– Be sure the notary official uses the correct notarial certificate for making a certified copy. You can also use a stamp on the copy that has the statutory notary certificate wording for this type of activity. If you cannot use a stamp, you must attach a loose notary certificate.

– Some legal processes take a very long time, like a foreign adoption. If a document that is to be certified by you as a true copy is destined for a lengthy process like this, you will need to make sure the notary will still be certified throughout the entire time. If their certification is less than one year away from expiration, you’ll want to find another capable notary.

Legal documents must be treated very carefully, and making a copy isn’t something you can do on your own. If you need this service, contact us at (985) 892-1955. We’ll be happy to help! You may find your current situation would benefit from other legal services we offer. Ellen Cronin Badeaux’s Covington, LA lawyers and legal team is able to handle whatever you need, from adoptions to divorces to criminal defence to making legal copies of documents.

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