NY Notary & Apostille F.A.Q.

1. Can you notarize or certify a copy of a document, such as my passport, driver’s license, utility bill or company document?

NY notaries cannot notarize or certify a copy of a document by comparing the copy to the original and signing a statement about that comparison. We do work with an attorney to certify copies as they are allowed to do that, but you would need to confirm that your receiving authority would allow an attorney’s true copy certification if they are asking for a notary to do it. Please see the fees for this option on our Pricing and Payment page as it is not a standard fee.

2. Is there a NY notary and apostille office I can visit?
For notary jobs, this is strictly a traveling Manhattan notary housecall/officecall service (A NYC notary can meet you at your Manhattan home, office, local cafe or any other convenient location for notarizations).

For apostille service, we typically meet at a FedEx location near Union Square or West 72nd St. Documents that require an apostille that don’t require notarization, such as NYC birth certificates, can be FedExed to a different mailing address, which we can provide once the documents are reviewed.

3. Can you obtain a certified copy of my NYC marriage certificate (and apostille it too)?
Yes, we can. We would need the original of a notarized authorization letter with our staff member’s name noted in the letter. You can click on the link below for the wording and format required.

You can fill in the following names on the line for who to provide the records to: Michael Senz on one letter and William Plucinski on a separate consent letter. They will then need to be notarized and sent to us once we okay your document and project. We also will need a xerox of your marriage license that includes date and location of marriage and full names of bride and groom and birthdates emailed or Fedexed with the pickup consent letter.

We can work out all the logistics of this process via email or over the phone. After we obtain the marriage certificate, we can obtain the apostille, if needed, for an additional cost.

4. How do I order a NYC Long-Form Birth or Death Certificate with the required NYC Exemplification Letter?

The easiest way to order the certified long-form birth certificate is online through Vitalchek, a third-party partner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Office of the City Clerk, either at vitalchek.com. Be sure to check off “apostille” on the Vitalchek.com website when they ask for the “reason for ordering the certificate.” It won’t actually mention the Exemplification Letter. It will just come automatically with the birth certificate. Death certificates with the Letter of Exemplification have to be ordered through the NYC Department of Health.

If an apostille is your objective, be sure to check off “apostille” or write “apostille”in the top corner of the birth and death certificate application if ordering in person (if they are open to the public) or by mail from the NYC Dept. of Health. Be sure to also check off “yes” when asked “whether you need a letter of exemplification” and write “extended long form birth certificate” at the top of the application when ordering in person at the NYC Department of Health. You can often expect to wait for over an hour standing on a line if you order the NYC certified birth and death certificates in person (and you will receive the documents by mail 10-14 days later, not there). You should also know that the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sometimes refers to the Certified Long-Form Birth Certificate as the “vault” copy.

You can also order the birth certificate and death certificate in person or by mail through the NYC Department of Mental Hygiene at 125 Worth St. in Manhattan. You can visit them online at www.nyc.gov.

It usually takes at least 10-14 days for the NY certified birth or death certificate and Letter of Exemplification to arrive in the mail. These two organizations do not provide the apostille; they simply provide you with the correct documents that are needed to then obtain an apostille, which we can help you with.

5. How does it work with a mobile or traveling notary public and what is the difference between a mobile notary and a regular notary?

A mobile notary is just like any regular notary public except that a New York City mobile notary travels to your Manhattan location to notarize your documents. In addition to the $2 fee allowed by law for each notarization, mobile notaries in NY are permitted to charge a travel fee. NYC mobile notaries are, typically, much more knowledgeable about how to properly notarize a document since we notarize all day, 7 days a week, while notaries who notarize on a part-time basis typically have minimal notary public training and experience. About 75% of the notarizations we see from other notaries are done incorrectly. You can witness the frequent rejection of improper notarizations at the NY County Clerk’s office. All we will say here is: Let the buyer beware. To set up a traveling NY Notary appointment, simply provide us with your window of availability so we can schedule a time and you choose the location.

6. What on earth is an “apostille” anyway?
It means “word that is impossible to pronounce or spell.” No, just kidding. Actually, it is a French word (pronounced a-poh-STEEL) and is often misspelled as “apostil” and “apostile”. It is a form of authentication issued by the New York Secretary of State that is attached to certain foreign-bound documents being sent to countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. For more details on how we can help you with the NY apostille process, click on the “NY apostille” link at the top of this page.

7. Can you notarize a document written in a foreign language?
Yes, as long as we can communicate with the signer directly in English. There needs to be notary wording in English on the document for us to notarize you. If a notary statement is not included on the document for us to sign, we can add it.

8. Do you notarize on weekends?
Yes, we provide New York mobile notary and apostille service on weekend afternoons and early evening (both Saturday and Sunday)…and even most holidays. The New York County and State offices are not open on weekends for NY apostille processing, but we can get things started by having a NY Notary meet you during the weekend or receiving the documents by FedEx on a Saturday.