(a) The Secretary shall not issue a certificate of authentication for a document if the Secretary has cause to believe that the certificate is desired for an unlawful or improper purpose. The Secretary may examine not only the document for which a certificate is requested, but also any documents to which the previous seals or other certifications may have been affixed by other authorities. The Secretary may request any additional information that may be necessary to establish that the requested certificate will serve the interests of justice and is not contrary to public policy, including a certified or notarized English translation of document text in a foreign language.
(b) The Secretary shall not issue a certificate of authentication for any one or more of the following:
(1) A seal or signature that cannot be authenticated by either the Secretary or another official.
(2) A seal or signature of a foreign official.
(3) A facsimile, photostat, photographic, or other reproduction of a signature or seal.
(c) The Secretary may not include within the certificate of authentication any statement that is not within the Secretary's power or knowledge to authenticate. The Secretary may not certify that a document has been executed or certified in accordance with the law of any particular jurisdiction or that a document is a valid document in a particular jurisdiction. (1998-228, s. 14.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014