A “certified true copy” is a photo copy of a document which a notary public has certified to be authentic. Having certified true copies made is an important step to protect your original documents. It gives you the peace of mind that documents are safe in your hands. At the same time, the fact that they have been notarized satisfies offices that they are true copies of the original.
Never send or give out original documents!
Which documents should you get certified true copies for?
Basically, it’s any important or sensitive original. It could be for a business transaction, working abroad, a government application or so many other reasons. To help give you an idea, I’ve chosen the top 5 documents for which I have seen people provide certified true copies.
Some offices, such as immigration, will specifically need to see a copy of your passport. In other cases, a passport is convenient because it proves both identity and nationality. Besides the fact that you may need it for travel or ID, this is a powerful document. Keeping the original in your own hands gives you peace of mind.
2. Educational Degrees
Whether it’s for a job application or admission to another school, you may be asked to provide a copy of your degree or a transcript from a college or university. Especially if your school was in another country or does not easily provide new transcripts, you will want to send copies which have been certified by a notary public.
3. Birth Certificates
Birth certificates can be used as proof of nationality or age. Examples where the government requires to see them include replacement health cards or passports.
4. Marriage Certificates
Immigration applications and children’s birth registrations are some reasons a marriage certificate may be required.
5. Signature Authentication
In some cases, when a signed document is needed for travel or business in another country, they will require that the signature be authenticated. This means that a notary public uses other ID to confirm that the signature is yours. He then seals and signs the signature. If this is required of you, the organization requesting the document should inform you. If you are not sure, ask them.
Again, there are many other documents which you always should keep safe in your own hands. To summarize the reasons:
- they are important/sensitive government documents
- you may need them regularly or urgently
- they are from another country and/or are difficult to replace
- they have sentimental value for you
Instead, be sure to have a certified true copy made by a notary public. If you have been requested to send or hand over this kind of document, contact us at Golden Notary to have a copy made and certified.