Certified Copy (Of a Document)

A copy of a document that contains an endorsement or seal declaring that it is an authorized, true copy of the original. A certified copy of a birth certificate, for example, will include a raised, embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal and the registrar’s signature, authorizing it for official use to prove identity or citizenship.

The process for obtaining certified copies of documents depends on the document and the state. However, it generally looks something like this:

  1. An exact copy is created from the original document
  2. A notary compares the original and the copy
  3. The notary certifies that the copy is accurate

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