A certified true copy refers to a signed and stamped document that has been verified and certified by a notary after comparing it with the original document. A meticulous scrutiny is done to ensure that all the information given in the certified true copy is same as the primary document.


The copy does not validate the information to be genuine but accounts for the authenticity of the text provided in the primary document. A certified true copy holds the same legal value as of the original document.


Why do I Need a Certified True Copy?

The certified true copies are required in both, personal and professional affairs. Often you need to send the official documents to an institute for enrollment or to an office for getting pension. Primarily, they are needed for identification documents such as identity cards, birth or death certificates, passports, visas and/or driving license.


It is equally important in carrying out any business deal so that no information can be misrepresented and misinterpreted. Certified true copies are made for testaments, power of attorney, affidavit and even death will. The certified true copies are also made with a purpose of not carrying the original documents with you all the time, thus saving you from the hassle of losing the original documents.

How a Certified True Copy is Made?

The process of getting a certified true copy is efficient and quick. Now, client’s presence is not required at the notary office. Since a certified true copy is the exact copy and stands in place of original, the notary makes a thorough comparison of it with the original document. If he finds no discrepancy, he stamps and signs it as “certified true copy”. As the copy verifies and then validates the information provided in the original document, it is also known as document notarization.

Step-by-step guide of getting a certified true copy:

  1. Visit any notary office near you with your original documents. With All-Canada Notary you can get a prior appointment online.
  2. The certified notary public will make an exact copy of the original document(s).
  3. Notary Public will, then compare the two documents closely.
  4. If the information is same, the notary public will put a stamp.
  5. Once stamped, he will sign and seal the document as “certified true copy”.

It is important to note that certified true copies are made for both, official and unofficial documents. It can be made for all documents in any language. It only needs to be translated in English if the documents are to be sent to an English-speaking country.

Do I Need to Bring My Original Documents for Getting a Certified True Copy?

Yes, absolutely. It is very important to bring your original documents for a copy to get certified. Since the notary has to check for each detail, the original document is needed. It is important to note that a mere photocopy, picture or a scanned copy of the document is not sufficient to get a certified true copy of an original document.

Who Can Certify True Copies?

Only designated public officials can certify the true copies. To get your certified true copies, you need to get in touch with a notary public, barrister/ solicitor of the high court or commissioner of the oath.


Once, the designated official verifies the information, he needs to do add his name, occupation, job title and stamp of the organization for which he works. To validate the copy further, it is required that he signs, mentions the date and provides his contact number at the bottom of the document.  

Factors That Can Halt the Process:

As reiterated, a certified true copy is made from the original document, therefore, a duplicate document would not get your job done. Hence, make sure to provide the notary lawyer with the original document(s).

The notary lawyer will not make a certified true copy of an original document if:

  1. it is altered in any way e.g., glued to a cardboard, punched with a hole or marked by a pen.
  2. some of its word(s) are crossed out.
  3. the text is written with a lead pencil
  4. it contains indistinct text or details
  5. it is not signed by authorized personnel
  6. it is laminated or the text is made hidden thus compromising its authenticity


Though the process of getting a certified true copy seems complicated but if planned wisely, it can be done within 10-20 minutes. Make a prior appointment and get your certificate in no time. It is an inexpensive and a hassle-free process.