Notarization in the US
Thread poster: jmf

jmf  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
Aug 10, 2009

When translating birth certificates and other personal documents requiring notarization I have always drafted a "Certificate of Translation" where I state my name, professional certifications, the that the translation is true and correct to the best of my knowledge etc. I have always had this certificate notarized, but today my notary informed me that she received a letter from the government recently stating that she could not notarize such forms and she said I would need to obtain a "legal form" that she could notarize. She does not know where I could obtain such a form and I have looked on the state of Colorado government site without success. The translation I need this notarization for is for a person in Texas. Does anyone have any information on these forms or any advice on how to proceed? Thanks in advance.

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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:07
English to Russian
+ ...
In Texas.. Aug 10, 2009

.. Certificate of Translation is the only thing required for a document translation, no notarization.

Below is the format accepted by the INS (I used it numerous times and never had a problem):

Certification by Translator

I, ..., certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ... languages and that the above document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled:

Name of Document

Date:

Name:

Address:

Signature of Translator:


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Natalia Potashnik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:07
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
never heard of such "legal" forms Aug 10, 2009

I am in Colorado too and always notarized translated documents the same way as you. Wrote a similar statement and notarized my signature on it. Perhaps you should try a different notary and see what he/she says.

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jmf  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Have you had anything notarized in the past month? Aug 10, 2009

Natalia, I was surprised since I have been using the same notary for 7 years and she has notarized these statements for me at least 20 times. She refused stating that she could lose her license. I will try another notary. The person waiting on this material is furious I mailed the translations and my signed statement without a notary stamp but I thought it was best to send it while I try to locate this "legal form". I think this will be the last time I translate a personal document!

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Let us know what you find out Aug 10, 2009

This is bizarre. In theory, all a notary is certifying is that you signed the thing.

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Natalia Potashnik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:07
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
No, I have not had anything notarized in the past month Aug 10, 2009

My information may not be up-to-date. It is possible that there are new requirements here. On the other hand, if your notary received new instructions from the government do you think that the letter would say how the legal form should look like or where to obtain it? The US government usually is very specific in such matters. In any case it is worth checking with another notary.

Don't despair despite the furious client. Hopefully things will be sorted out quickly. Good luck!


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jmf  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
I found a notary! Aug 10, 2009

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I found a notary who used a separate signature form that contains a "description of document" section at the bottom. He said the other notary must not have been following proper procedure if she received a letter instructing her not to notarize statements such as mine. She always placed her stamp directly on my documents, while this notary documented everything in a separate form. Maybe that's the difference? Either way I'll stick with the new guy! Thanks again.

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Natalia Potashnik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:07
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Aha! Thanks for sharing Aug 10, 2009

So there is no really a new 'legal" form and we can continue working the same way as before.
You probably already know this, but just in case you don't - you can also have your documents notarized at any bank or a credit union. It is a free service. Sometimes it is faster and easier to go to the nearest bank to get that stamp.


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Joel Schaefer  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
notary not up to date Aug 11, 2009

I used to be a California notary, and for years the requirement has been to have a description of the document on an attached acknowledgment form. Too bad your notary didn't have the government letter available so you could read it together.

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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:07
Member
Spanish
+ ...
Notarization of signatures vs. notarization of documents Aug 11, 2009

There is a major difference between notarizing signatures and notarizing documents. Any notary in the United States can notarize a "Certification of Translation" like the one that sokolniki described. That is because the notary is certifying the translator's signature, not the authenticity of the document itself (which is probably what your notary thinks you want). In most cases, the US government accepts that 'Certification of Translation', even many federal websites have samples of that certification.

But if the government requires a certified copy of the document, the only place to get it is the institution that issued the original document. No notary can certify a copy of an original document. Maybe there are some forms for that, and maybe that's what your notary had in mind.

I think she's just confused


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
Notarization of Signature Aug 11, 2009

All I use is a "Certification of Translation" which appears to be the same type of thing you use. All the notary does is recognize my signature; that is, evidence that I am indeed the person I say I am, for which I present my ID. It is a document apart from the translation, and I have written this certification myself.

I use that notarized certification for documents that are to be presented in courts at any level; Federal (I am certified by the U.S. Federal Courts) or in courts in any state or locality in the U.S. If the document is to be sent to a Spanish-speaking country I use a bilingual version.

For documents to be presented to the INS I use a certification I merely sign without notarization like Sokolniki does, and I have also written this certification myself. I use this same non-notarized certification for academic documents as well.

Over many years I have never had any negative feedback on either of the above, so therefore they must fly.

Once I had a problem with a notary who objected to the phrase "who is personally known to me" on my certification and proceeded to cross it out before I could even stop her. She said "well, I don't know you". I said, "you just saw my ID and you sure do know me now". I complained strenuously that she had inconvenienced me and the certification would probably be rejected. To avoid an extra trip I sent it like that to the client, but it was rejected because of the crossing out.

I returned to the same place again and got another one notarized without charge, this time a good one. I have a hunch this person was later fired. While I was there she also refused to notarize a government form for some other people because she did not like the space on the form for notarization... and in their case, they had to use that form!

Some notaries just plain do not know what they are doing.

If you or anyone else would like to see the certification forms I use, I'll be glad to send them to you, just contact me personally.


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Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
State clearly to notary what he/she is notarizing Aug 11, 2009

Henry & Steven are right. Be clear that the notary is notarizing your signature, not the accuracy of the translation.

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Jessica Cade
United States
Local time: 23:07
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...

MODERATOR
Notary Aug 12, 2009

Im a Notary and when translating certificates I always ask the customer if they want or need it notorized

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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Virginia is different here Aug 13, 2009

Claudia Alvis wrote:


But if the government requires a certified copy of the document, the only place to get it is the institution that issued the original document. No notary can certify a copy of an original document. Maybe there are some forms for that, and maybe that's what your notary had in mind.



As a Virginia Notary Public, I can make a certified copy of any document except what are known as "vital records" (birth, death, marriage, divorce certificates). I simply place the document on a copier, check that the text of the copy is the same as the text of the original (it generally is; aren't copiers wonderful?), stamp the copy, sign it, record it, and that's it. However, I don't think that's what Sokolniki's client needs.

For vital records, however, they have to come from the office that issued the original.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:07
German to English
+ ...
INS - Same here Aug 18, 2009

Henry Hinds wrote:

For documents to be presented to the INS I use a certification I merely sign without notarization like Sokolniki does, and I have also written this certification myself. I use this same non-notarized certification for academic documents as well.



I have translated exactly two personal documents, both birth certificates, and used the procedure (and certificate wording) described above. No notarization was necessary and both documents were accepted.


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Notarization in the US

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