Is a Copy of a Notarized Document Valid?

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OneNotary Team

August 10, 2021


If you have been told that you have to get your documents notarized, it is important for you to take care of them on the process is done. Usually, you will need to submit the original copy in order for the transaction to move forward. At the same time, accidents happen from time to time. As a result, you may lose, misplaced, or otherwise damage your notarized documents. When this happens, can you submit a copy instead? Is a copy of a notarized document valid? Take a look at some important points regarding scanned and photocopied notarized documents below.

What Is a Notarized Copy?

First, there might be situations where you need to get something called a notarized photocopy. For example, you might be applying for a job outside the country and you may need a notarized copy of your ID or diploma. This is a certified copy of a document that has been marked with a seal and the signature of a notary. In this situation, it is not the responsibility of the notary to verify that the original document is authentic. Instead, the seal of the notary is put in place to stay that the certified copy is a legitimate copy of the original document. There are several situations where you may need to get a certified notarized copy of a document including:

  • Valid IDs
  • Passports
  • Diplomas
  • Driver’s Licenses

Before you go through the process of getting a certified copy, it is important for you to understand what the notary is and is not doing. Remember the notary is certifying that the copy is a legitimate copy, but is not necessarily speaking to the authenticity of the original document. Make sure this is good enough for the party in question.

Do I Need To Notarize a Copy of an Original Document?

It depends on the type of document. Not all copies of original documents need to be notarized; however, important documents including diplomas, forms of identification, and certain financial transactions may need to be notarized if you make a copy. In this situation, you may be thinking about driving around from place to place to find a physical notary who can help you. Fortunately, there are easier ways for you to get a copy notarized thanks to modern technology. You may even be able to do this virtually in certain situations.

Is a Copy of a Notarized Document Legal?

Notarization process

It depends on the exact situation. If you are getting a copy notarized by a notary, then this should be a legal document. On the other hand, if you have a notarized document and you go ahead and make another copy, this is not necessarily going to be legal. It is important to look at the specific guidelines related to that copy to make sure it is going to be accepted by the appropriate party.

What Is the Validity of a Copy of a Notarized Document?

If you make a paper copy of a notarized document, the issue is that the copy may have been tampered with. Therefore, there is no way of knowing that the document that has been copied is the same one that the notary signed and sealed. Therefore, if you make a copy of a document that has already been notarized, this is not necessarily going to be accepted.

When Can a Copy of a Notarized Document Be Rejected?

There are several situations where a copy of a notarized document can be rejected. These include:

  • If a document was notarized and then copy, then the seal of the notary is not necessarily on the copy that is being submitted, which could cause the document to be rejected.
  • If the seal of the notary was not valid when it was embossed, then the document could be rejected. This takes place if the term of the notary expires before he or she notarizes the document.
  • If there is only a partial see on the document and not a full seal, then the document could be rejected.
  • If the courts can prove that the copy of the notarized document has been tampered with, then it can be rejected for this reason as well.

You need to make sure the notary public understands what he or she is doing so that you end up with a valid notarized document.

How To Notarize Online with OneNotary

Notarize a Document Remotely

Even though there are many people who are used to getting a document notarized in person, it is now possible for you to get your document notarized online using a service like OneNotary. If you want to get your document notarized using OneNotary, the steps you need to follow include:

  1. First, you need to go to OneNotary and take a look at the available appointment times. Then, select a time that works for your schedule.
  2. Next, you will receive an email invitation that you will use to upload your documents so they can be reviewed by the notary public.
  3. Before your session with the notary public, you will need to answer a few questions to verify your identity.
  4. When it is time for your appointment, you will interact with your notary public using video conferencing technology.
  5. Once the appointment is finished, you will wait for the notary to notarize your document. Then, you can download them and submit them to the appropriate organization.

If you decide to get your documents notarized online using OneNotary, you can save a significant amount of time and money during this process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Copies and Notarized Documents

There are several common questions that people ask about copies of notarized documents. These include:

Can you scan a notarized document?

Are scanned documents legal? Even though you can physically scan a notarized document, this does not necessarily mean the other party is going to accept it. If you are planning on scanning a notarized document, you should reach out to the other party ahead of time to see if he or she will accept it.

Can you email a notarized document?

Even though you are able to email a notarized document, this does not necessarily mean it is going to be accepted. If you plan on submitting a notarized document this way, you should reach out to the other person ahead of time to make sure they will accept it.

I’ve lost my notarized document. Does the notary have a copy?

No, the vast majority of notaries do not retain copies of the document they notarized. While you can reach out to the notary and ask, they probably do not have a copy.