Certified True Copies of Documents

Certified True Copies of Documents

What is the distinction between a “true copy,” a “certified copy,” and a “notarized copy”? 

They’re all talking about the same subject. The terms “certified copy” and “notarized copy” are interchangeable. However, technically, “notarized” is a broad term that can refer to anything from witnessing someone sign a document to witnessing someone sign a document. As a result, we prefer to refer to a copy of a document that has been stamped by a Notary to confirm that it is a true copy of the original as a “Certified Copy” or “True Copy.”

That’s all there is to it. A certified copy does not guarantee the validity of the original document; rather, it certifies that the copy is a true copy of what appears to the Notary Public to be an original document. Certified Copies can only be created of original documents, of course. The presence of a seal, stamp, or signature on a document qualifies it as an original. Identification documents (e.g., passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates), diplomas, report cards, and other forms of documents are quite frequent to certify as true copies.

How Do I Obtain ‘True & Certified’ Document Copies? 

It’s critical to keep crucial legal documents like a birth certificate or a power of attorney on hand. When presenting a duplicate document, the opposite party may demand that the copy be a certified true copy of the original. Often, all you need to do is locate a notary public who can attest that the duplicate is an exact replica of the original. It sometimes necessitates greater work.

Who Needs Certified True Copies in the First Place? 

Let’s say your mother signs a power of attorney authorizing you to manage her affairs. Different banks and businesses have different standards when it comes to power of attorney: some may accept a faxed copy, while others require a certified copy to be kept on file.
It’s ideal to keep vital documents like birth certificates safe and secure in a locked box, or you can mail a certified copy to anyone who needs it. When applying for a passport, a marriage license, a driver’s license, or when presenting one of “two kinds of identification,” as many regulations require, a certified copy of a birth certificate will serve as the original.

Consult a Notary 

Notaries are frequently called to certify documents in addition to stamping original documents such as wills or deeds. The American Society of Notaries likes to refer to this as “attesting documents,” because the notary cannot certify that the original document is genuine or legally binding; all the notary can do is certify that the duplicate is. The procedure is straightforward: the notary compares the copy to the original and then issues a notarial certificate declaring that the copy is correct and complete.

In certain states, this is not an option. Notaries in Michigan, for example, are not permitted to certify copies. Powers of attorney can only be certified by notaries in California. Your notary may be able to explain the legislation to you, but it is your job, not theirs, to have the copy certified properly.

Alternatives to Notaries 

Even if your notary is unable to certify your document, he or she may be able to assist you. Assume a Michigan resident requests a certified, authentic copy of his high school diploma. A notary can attest that a school official’s statement about the accuracy of the high school diploma copy is true.

The individual who received the diploma can also double-check the accuracy of the copy and get his declaration validated.
Contact the US Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services if you need a copy of your naturalization certificate. Bring your naturalization certificate and a copy to a USCIS office, and the department will verify that the duplicate is a certified true copy.

A true copy of a document that has been certified 

A true copy is a certified copy of an original document that, when correctly labelled as such, may be regarded as having the same value as the original by institutions (banks, governments, and courts of law).

Consular authorities can certify a true copy if the following conditions are met:

  • The original document will be shown. 
  • The document is written in English or French, or it is supported by an official English or French translation. 
  • The client is a Canadian citizen or the document will be used in Canada. 
  • A consular officer makes a copy of the document at the Embassy.

A true copy will not be certified by consular personnel if: 

  • The document is religious in nature (certificate of baptism, funeral, confirmation, etc.) 
  • The original document is downloaded from the internet and printed

The material is such that it is likely to deceive as to its intended use, or that it could be used fraudulently.

Signature authentication 

Authentication certifies the authenticity of a signature and seal, as well as the authority of an official who has the ability to execute, issue, or certify a document, so that a document executed, issued, or certified in one jurisdiction can be recognized in another.

Documents must be written in English or French, or be supported by an official English or French translation.

The following signatures can be authenticated by consular officers:
⦁ Authorized officers of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ old seal and signature (DFA)
⦁ the original seal and signature of approved Government of Canada personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International

Trade’s Authentication and Service of Documents section or Canadian missions overseas
⦁ authentic seal and signature of certified local Canadian notaries who have been approved by the Canadian government
⦁ original long form birth, death, and marriage certificates with the seal and signature of Vital Statistics Registrars General of Canadian Provinces and Territories

Signatures will not be authenticated by consular personnel if:
⦁ We suspect the document’s content is misleading or that it will be utilized for a fraudulent purpose.
⦁ it is a sacred text

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