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  1. #1

    Default Wedding document freak out! :(

    So, the FAQ about weddings says :

    I don’t really understand what I get notarized?
    You will take your original documents to a notary. They will then take a copy of the documents, and notarize the copy stating they have seen the original documents. You will then send us the notarized copies, and keep your originals at home.

    So.. I'm thinking I'm totally fine. Our wedding is 50 days away, documents have to be there 30 days in advance. Heck.. I'm totally in the clear, right?


    I go to 2 different notaries and they both tell me the same thing. It is illegal to notarize a copy of a birth certificate. I have to get a "certified copy" from the county of origin.

    I was born in Oregon, him in CA. Oregon has an expedition process so I can get a certified copy in *just* enough time to still get it to couples within 30 days of my wedding, but CA is much more difficult...


    so frustrated.

    I have the copies of our passports, and the certified copies of the divorce decree... why didn't I realize that the birth cert was going to be a problem? The FAQ made it seem so easy...


    So.. now I'm left thinking my best bet is to send along the only copies we have of our birth certificates, even though they're old and tattered and well-worn from being folded and unfolded over the years... the raised seal is still *fairly* visible on them..

    and wait for the new certified copies to come and then put those in our files for safe-keeping?

    anyone else have such difficulty?

  2. #2


    There are a number of companies that can help you obtain certified copies of your birth certificates in an expeditious manner. Here are the web addresses for five of them:

    Good luck.
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  3. #3


    I guess we were lucky...we were both born in the same state..and we still live there!!! I would hate to give you the wrong information. I would contact Debbie Hall - She will be able to give you the most accurate information. Congrats!!!

  4. #4


    I'm having the same problem. I made copies of our birth certificates and sent them in, and they said I need to get them notorized. So I went to get them notorized and they told me they are no longer able to notorize birth certificates. I'm waiting to hear back from my travel agent she was going to contact the resort about the issue. I'm starting to freak out because I only have 2 weeks till my 30 days is up.

  5. #5


    I went to my bank and same thing they said no. I ended up finding a friend who was a notary and did it. Ask around. Many realtors are notaries. The secratary at my hubbys work was one and she did it. After the fact I found out my brother in law was one. Just ask around and find someone to do it!

  6. #6


    Our local sheriff's department notarized copies of ours. They had us write something along the lines "These are copies of our original birth certificates and drivers licenses." and then sign our name. Then they notarized that. Good luck!

  7. #7


    i can personally vouch for I was also born in CA but now live in IN, and when I went to get my passport I couldn't find my birth certificate anywhere! I freaked out thinking I wouldn't be able to get a copy of my birth certificate in time to get my passport processed on time, but with vital chek i was able to get a copy in 4 days. Yes, 4. from the time i placed my order to delivery to my doorstep. It cost me a bit extra, but it was worth it.

    From there, I went to a UPS store to get copies notarized and we were good to go. Don't sweat it... use this service, pay the extra to get it faster, you'll be fine.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8


    We had problems getting our passports. We booked our trip in early February for arrival March 21st. We had to get certified copies of our birth certificates too. Got everything together, applied and paid for expedited and waited. Heard shortly thereafter the post office LOST our passport applications. Can you say "idenitity theft"??? We had to start all over by getting new certified BCs and applying, and pay all the fees again. At least we live in the area and could easily go to the court house for the BCs but it was still a hassle. Needless to say, we were extremely worried that we wouldn't get our passports in time to get to paradise.

    Luckily, the we receive our passports in time AND they found the "lost" package. We still haven't received our refund for the extra passports, but that's the US government for you!

    Good luck!

  9. #9


    As a notary, I can tell you that it's true that copies can't be notarized. However, if you take your originals, plus your copies to a notary, they can put an acknowledgement on the copies that says they inspected the originals and the copies are true and correct copies of said originals and then notarize that statement. At least that's the way it is in OK. It may differ in other states.
    Pam Brown
    Norman, OK
    Couples Preferred Agency/Couples Specialist

  10. #10


    I'm a Notary too. There is an additional form that the Notary attaches to the copies. The notary makes a copy of your originals and the form states these are "original copies" or something to that effect. (It's a rarity type notary) and that document gets notarized. Here is a link of the states that can and cannot do a certified copy.

  11. #11


    As a notary, travel agent and bride to be (YIKES!), I asked Debbie the same questions just to be on the safe side, double checked my state's notary rules, and the whole bit. If you have the original birth certificate with the copy, then the notary can notarize that the copy they're notarizing is exactly the same as the original presented. in this case, I would see if the place where you're taking it to get notarized, such as a bank, can make the copy of the original for you. So I will be able to notarize my fiance's copy of his original birth certificate, but not my own, :O). So HE won't have the potential hassle that I might. Go figure! Good luck!

  12. #12


    Did you make your own copy? I had NO problem, I took the original's to our Bank, THEY made the copies, and then they notorized.

    They would not have done it if WE MADE the copies ourselves. Bring them the ORIGINAL.
    I was confused too but had no problem, call Debbie, she was a big help.

    We are leaving today for CTI.....GOOD LUCK!

    This is our first time too.


  13. #13


    Don't know what the deal is here in Oregon.. took the original BC to the bank they said "no can do" took them to a local shop, specializing in notary services, they said "can't do that, not with birth certficiates..

    called one more, she agreed, they can't make a notarized copy of birth certificates.


    I ended up just sending my originals to couples, and then sent money in to the state to get replacement copies.

    what a hassle!

  14. #14

    Default Confusing state rules

    We had an issue with the notary also. Bank said no, post office said no and the deeds dept said no. in the end it is always easier to just order a secondary copy of the birth certificates and send those in. I began collecting all of my documents about 2 months early just in case an issue like this came up, so I was fortunate enough to have a little of time to get things figured out. Some notaries are easily confused at the wording that we might use when asking for the seal. I had seen a web address that some one posted on here with the listing of the states that permit the notary to do it on a copy, I would print that off and take it to the bank you are going to and see if this helps them understand what it is that you need.

  15. #15


    wow thanks for the heads up on this issue. I am from Canada so unsure if I will have a problem but who knows. I will make sure I go well inadvance to my lawyer to have these notarized incase of a problem!

  16. #16


    They cant notarize copies of your birth certificates, but they can notarize statements saying they have seen your birth certificate. Sorry you had to send your originals off. We didnt have that much trouble. We just went to our local library and she notarized a statement saying she seen our originals, we mailed that and the copies of the BC off. No problem at all. I think some people make it more trouble than they need too.

  17. #17


    We ran into the same problem 6 years ago. I think the wording on the website needs to be changed as we were told as well they can not notorize a birth certificate. In fact, they can not notorize any document that carries an official seal. And until you find out the hard way, who really even gives it a thought?
    We had our notary do as someone else suggested and had them notorize a cover sheet stating they saw the original documents and would attest to their authenticity.

  18. #18


    We had this exact same freak out. We tried to get copies notarized and were told no such luck (I agree that this section of the website/wedding documents should be updated, as it appears we were not the only ones that hit this wall). Try the county websites of the counties where you were born. One of us went through the county and it was like a 1 week turn-around vs 4+ with the state. It's worth a try.

    Luckily, I can tell you, this was the most stressful aspect of our wedding, and once we had the paperwork mailed in it was smooth sailing

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