Rather than sending away your important legal documents, you may be able to send a certified copy instead. Using a certified copy means you get to keep the original and avoid the risk of losing or damaging your valuable documents.
What is a certified copy?
A certified copy is an exact copy of a document that is verified as being a true and unaltered copy of the original. It is usually in the form of a specially made photocopy of the document, but in some cases a photograph can be used. A certified true copy does not verify the authenticity of the original document—it simply tells others that the copy they are viewing is a genuine copy.
Can a certified copy be made of any type of document?
It is only possible to make a certified copy of a complete, original document. That means it has an original signature, stamp or seal.
What is the process for certifying a copy of a legal document?
A BC notary or lawyer can make a certified copy by comparing a copy of a document to the original document. Once it is verified as being an exact copy, the notary or lawyer will certify it in one of two ways:
- Stamping or “endorsing” the certified copy to show that it is a true and correct copy of the original document; or
- Attaching the certified copy to a notarial certificate which confirms that the copy is a true copy (this is sometimes called a “notarized copy”).
Once the copy of your document has been certified, it can be accepted as the original would. Others can rely on the stamp or notarial certificate as an assurance that what they are seeing is a verified reproduction of the original document.
When do I need certified true copies?
Certified copies are often needed for official government or court purposes, for business/commercial reasons, or for professional certification/employment purposes. Whatever the reason, it is important to know whether you need a certified copy or a notarized copy. For example, immigration applications typically require you to submit important documents such your passport, marriage license, birth certificate, etc. Copies of legal documents to be used internationally may need to meet additional requirements. Our BC notaries and immigration lawyers can help you ensure that copies of your documents will be honored in a foreign country.
How do I get certified true copies of my documents?
Contact Invicta Law Corporation if you need certified true copies or notarized copies. We offer same day service, and walk-ins are always welcome during business hours. Since certified true copies can only be made from the complete original document, be sure to bring the whole original document with you. Let us know how many certified true copies you need and where the document will be going. We will take care of the rest.