The functions of a notary do not consist solely of administering notarizations. However, when it comes down to sworn translations, it is precisely this operation that a notary is most often required to do. Of course, the term “notarization” may apply to signatures, but most enquiries we receive about notarization are related to copies of documents.
As regards notarized copies, a notary appends their seal to them to attest that the copy has been made by a notary who has seen the original document.
This means that in order to have a notarized copy made, you will need to bring the original document with you and produce it to the notary.
The notary will use the original document (birth certificate/marriage certificate, graduation certificate, etc.) to make the notarized copy you may require. The notarized copy may then be used, in most cases, instead of the original document, as you may wish to keep the original or have to submit more than one copy of the same document.
Things to be aware of:
- Not every notary’s office verifies documents drafted in a foreign language, so it is a good idea to call in and ask about this service and its cost before visiting the office.
- The notary will usually not verify a document bearing a photograph (identity cards, driving licences, passports, etc.). Institutions in some countries put photos even on less important documents (school reports or marriage certificates), so please do contact the notary of your choice to find out if they can provide you with a copy of that document.
- Some countries (e.g. Egypt) or some authorities may not always accept a notarized copy of the document and may require the original. It is a good idea to check in advance with the institution that you will be submitting the document to.
- Some forms of verification can be performed in other ways than through a notary, e.g. at Czech POINT. However, we can only recommend this option if you are planning to use the verified document in the Czech Republic. Our experience suggests that foreign institutions may not recognize copies issued by Czech POINT. So, when in doubt, use the services of a notary, just to be on the safe side.
Sometimes you will be required to provide a notarized translation. This is terminologically incorrect, as notaries do not produce translations. The term “notarized translation” is sometimes (and incorrectly) used to mean a translation produced by a court-appointed interpreter, which we will be happy to arrange for you as a translation agency.