Certified Copy of a Passport

Certified Copy of a Passport
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A certified copy of a passport is a document that has been confirmed to be original and true and has been signed (certified) by a high-standing individual. Typical certified documents include passports, driver’s licenses, letters from the government, council tax bills, etc. People who are authorized to certify these documents include notaries public, attorneys, councilors, ministers of religions, doctors, solicitors, bank officials, or employees of passport acceptance facilities.

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How to get a certified copy of your passport?

Certified copies of US passports can be found in the US State Department Passport Services. In order to obtain a true and correct copy of their passport, the person needs to contact passport services. The official Passport Services website states that all passport records issued after 1925 are archived.

Individuals can also submit a written request to the State Department and submit a certification fee in order to obtain a certified passport copy. Passport copy certifications are most commonly done by attorneys, notaries public in a courthouse, or bank employees. Fees charged for such a certification vary, however, a notary public tends to charge a nominal fee for the service, whilst an attorney typically charges higher.

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Passport copy certification process

The passport copy certification is a simple process, a notary public (or other certified individual) compares the copy to the original document, and attaches a notarial certificate stating that the copy is the same as the original. Sometimes, the notary also certifies other documents such as a will. T

he notary observes the person signing the will, and then compares the signature to the one on the document to make sure it’s authentic. This, however, depends on particular state laws, as not all states accept notary certification procedures. For instance, Michigan does not accept notaries to certify copies, whereas California only permits notaries to certify copies.  

In some states, you might be able to just bring a copy of your document(s) to a notary along with the original and have the notary certify them upon comparing both and determining their authenticity. However, in other states you’ll be able to bring the original document(s) to the notary, have them make a copy and certify it.  

Documents that can and can’t be copy certified

Documents that are commonly certified include passports, driver’s licenses, letters from the government, council tax bills, court documents, and other documents that are not publicly recorded.

Some documents cannot be certified, and this typically applies to vital records. Most states won’t accept a notary copy certification of birth, marriage, divorce or death certificates, in other words – vital records. These vital records must be ordered from the agency which granted the original document.

Copy certification of passport by document custodian

Copy certification carried out by document custodian signifies a sworn statement signed  by the custodian. The document custodian completes a jurat – a document stating that he or she has created a true and correct copy of the original document. The jurat document must be signed by the notary public and acts as an oath.

Written requirement for a certified copy of passport

Individuals can also write a request for a certified true copy of their passport. The letter should include the person’s name, and contact details (address, phone number, email), date and place of birth, along with the year the passport was issued. For those that don’t remember the exact year of their passport’s issuance, the approximate year can be stated (make sure the note indicates that the year is approximate).

A passport number would be advantageous, but it’s not mandatory. Individuals submitting a request for a true copy of their passport will also need to attach a clear copy of a government-issued ID (for instance a driver’s license). Requests have to be signed and notarized. A fee of $50 will have to be paid, and the letter mailed to:

US Department of State, Law Enforcement Liaison Division, CA/PPT/S/L/LE, 1150 Passport Services Place, 4th Floor, Dulles, VA 20189-1150.  Phone: 202-485-6550

Passports issued before 1925

If a person requires a certified copy of a passport that was granted before 1925, then National Archives need to be contacted at: National Archives and Records Administration, Archives 1, Reference Branch 8th & Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20408 Email: inquire@nara.gov Phone:1-866-325-7208 

Certified copy of a passport: FAQ

If you still have questions, keep reading. We will answer many of your most frequent queries in this section below.

What is a certified copy of a document?

A certified copy means a duplicate of the original document that is certified to be a true copy by an authorized official; this kind of copy includes a stamp or seal and a signature certifying that it is a true and correct copy.

How to certify copies of a passport?

In most states, you’ll be able to have an attorney or notary certify copies of your passport records. However, you should keep in mind that not all states allow notary copy certification of original documents such as birth certificates.

Can I obtain a true copy of my passport at a passport agency?

No, passport agencies do not offer certified copies of passport records.

Who can certify a passport?

The US State Department Passport Services can provide certified copies of a passport; the certification fee is $50. Most states allow for notaries public to certify or attest to copies of passports; their fee will depend on the individual notary.

How can I get a copy of my passport?

A true and certified copy of your passport can be obtained through US State Department Passport Services. You must send a written request to US Department of State, Office of Law Enforcement Liaison, 44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1227, Sterling, VA 20166. Be sure to include all your contact information and a copy (front and back) of your government-issued photo ID, plus any information (such as the passport number and the date it was issued) that will help them locate the records. Allow 12 (twelve) to 16 (sixteen) weeks for delivery.

Can I get a copy of my passport?

If you only want a simple photocopy for your own records, you can photograph or photocopy your own passport without getting government permission. But if you need a certified copy of your passport for official business, you can either have a copy certified by a notary public (if permitted in your state) or you can request a certified copy through the State Department. And if you need a second passport due to frequent or urgent travel, you will need to apply for one through the mail using renewal form DS-82.

Who can certify a copy of a document in California?

In California, a notary public is permitted to notarize or attest copies of US passports.

Who can certify a document in the US?

In the US, documents are most commonly certified by notary publics.They can also be certified by county clerks, lawyers and judges.

How to get a certified copy of a passport for an itinerary?

An itinerary of upcoming travel is most commonly required when replacing a lost, stolen or damaged passport in an emergency. If your situation is an emergency, then you need to contact either the nearest US embassy or consulate (if you are overseas) or make an appointment at a passport agency (if you are in the US). If your situation is not an emergency, you can get a certified copy of your passport through the State Department in 12 (twelve) to 16 (sixteen) weeks, or have a copy of your passport notarized by a notary public.

How to get a certified copy of a Canadian passport?

You may apply for a certified copy of your Canadian passport through the Government of Canada website by filling out form PPTC 516 and mailing it in along with your payment. You can also visit a Service Canada Centre near you.

Final thoughts

Obtaining a certified copy of your passport may be a necessity at some point in your life. While it may seem like only a formality, it may not always be an easy one. You should do your research before you start searching for a notary public, as this is not necessarily the right path to go when trying to acquire a certified copy of your document. Some states don’t recognize notary-certified copies of documents and others accept only those. Always make sure to choose a capable notary to make this bureaucratic process as smooth as possible.


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