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    Certification Criteria

    All signatures must be original, and all dates must follow in chronological order on all prior certifications.

    If the certified copy of your recorded document is dated prior to 1995, the Office of the Great Seal may not have the signature of the certifying official on file to verify.  You may wish to obtain a more current certified record, before submitting your documents for authentication.

    Requirements for Authentication of Recorded Documents

    We can authenticate: 

    Only certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records by a Michigan County Clerk; City Clerk or Registrar in the counties of Wayne, Oakland or Macomb only; or the Michigan State Registrar.

    We cannot authenticate:

    From Court Clerks, Judges or other states. Do not get copies from these officials.

    To obtain recorded documents from a County Clerk:

    • County Clerk telephone numbers are listed in your area phone books under the Government section.
    • Contact the County Clerk where the birth, marriage, divorce or death occurred.
    • Request a certified copy of the document you need.
    • Once you receive the certified copy of the document, either mail or bring it to our office.
    • Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County recorded documents may be obtained from the City Clerks in those counties only.

    To obtain recorded documents from the State Registrar:

    • The telephone number for the State Registrar's office is (517) 335-8666.
    • Request a certified copy of the document and tell them it is for use in another country.
    • When the certified copy is received, mail or bring it to our office.
    • You can make arrangements with the State Registrar's office to mail the document directly to the Office of the Great Seal for state authentication.
    • You can also order recorded documents off their website. Their address is www.mdch.state.mi.us.

    Your Copied Document

    A Michigan notary public cannot make a "true copy" statement on copies of any records.  Only the person named on the document or the issuer of the document can certify to its authenticity.

    • Print or type: "this is a true copy of my _____" (list type of document) directly on the document. If there is not enough room this statement can be put on a separate sheet of paper.
    • Go to a Michigan notary public usually found at a bank or credit union.
    • Sign your name in front of the notary public.
    • Have the notary public notarize your signature. Be sure to include all of the above information or document will be rejected.

    Note:  An employee of the issuer of the document must use his/her title when making a true copy statement.

    Requirements for Authentication of School Records:

    A Michigan notary public cannot make a "true copy" statement on copies of any records. Only a School Official, the person named on the document or a parent or guardian of a dependent student can make a "true copy" statement on copies of a diploma, transcript or other school records.

    If the records are not yours and the person named on them is not in the State of Michigan, a School Official must do the following:

    1. State directly on the document "this is a true copy." 
    2. State his/her title and sign his/her name (must be an original signature, not a stamp) in front of a notary. 
    3. Have his/her signature notarized before a Michigan notary public.

    Your original diploma, transcript or other school records:

    1. Print or type "this is my original (name of record)" directly on the document. If there is not enough room this statement can be put on a separate sheet of paper. 
    2. Go to a Michigan notary public, usually found at a bank or credit union. 
    3. Sign your name in front of the notary. 
    4. Have the notary notarize your signature.

    (Note: We will be permanently affixing an authentication form directly to the original document, therefore, you may want to use a copy of the original. See instructions below.)

    Your copied diploma, transcript or other school records:

    1. Print or type "this is a true copy of my diploma" directly on the copy. If there is not enough room, this statement can be put on a separate sheet of paper. 
    2. Go to a Michigan notary public usually found at a bank or credit union. 
    3. Sign your name in front of the notary. 
    4. Have the notary notarize your signature.
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