Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.


May 2, 2019



Hi Jennifer,

A practice form we use requires a notary. Do I have to make the patient bring in the original, or will a copy suffice? 

Dr. P


Well, if you are going to require a notary on anything, the short answer is, you should require the original notarized document unless a copy is made in your office by a staff member.  

Civil Practice Law and Rule 4539(b) addresses reproduction of documents within the context of authenticating documents for admission into evidence. This rule allows for copies to be admitted into evidence if they can be supported by competent testimony which establishes the method by which tampering or degradation of the reproduction is prevented.  This could be a challenge later if a copy of the original document was transmitted to your office by a patient who later becomes an adversary in litigation. 

That being said, all a notary does is very the identity of a signatory, so where you are checking identity several times at time of visit - with license, insurance card, address proof etc., may be overkill to also require a notary.