Notarized Copy and Certified True Copy

March 7th, 2017
Anker The Notary

A common question we receive is “What is the difference between a Notarized Copy and a Certified True Copy?”  The answer?  Nothing.

Although some organizations may accept copies that have been certified by someone other than a Notary Public, normally if a Certified True Copy is required, it must be certified by a Notary.  This is almost invariably true when the documents are crossing international borders.

Certified True (or Notarized) Copies are the only service a Notary Public can provide you without a signatory present. Instead, the Notary requires only the original document to be present. You could send it by mail or courier if you want.  It cannot, however, be sent by email, even if that is how you received it.  Emails are far too easily ‘spoofed’, and thus must be verified by some outside means.  So, for example, if your bank statements are emailed to you, you can print them out and have your bank stamp them.  Then the stamped papers are original documents for the Notary to make certified copies from.

The Notary is certifying that the copy is a true reproduction of the original document presented, not that the original document presented is valid. For example, having a certified copy of a Will does not prove the Will was properly executed.

“So why do I need it?”, you ask. Certified copies are usually required for entirely practical reasons.

Having a Notary Public check a copy, or make it themselves, makes it more difficult to alter the copy afterwards.  Thus the recipient of the copy can be reasonably assured that the copy is genuine.  They are more reliable than a simple photocopy.

Typically, certified copies are required to include applications of some kind, such as for a job, admission to a university, or a professional or trade licence. Most often, the required documents are identification, such as Passports, Driver’s Licences and Birth Certificates, or Academic, such as Degrees, Diplomas, Transcripts, or Trade Certifications. If you are applying to more than one organization, it is impractical to send your original documents to all of them.

As you might imagine, Certified True Copies are normally requested when it is impractical for someone to verify a copy for themselves. This is particularly true when documents are sent over a distance, or where the volume of documents to be verified by an organization is too large to be verified internally. Often they are simply used to guard against losing the original document or having to return it.

12 thoughts on “Notarized Copy and Certified True Copy

  1. Shailesh says:

    My questioned is when
    I have done the notory
    but the guy who have
    done the Xerox of the
    same and needs to do
    the notory again can
    we do

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Shailesh,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Unfortunately there is not sufficient detail in your question to determine how we may assist you. Please call our customer service staff at (888) 922-7325 to explain your situation and document and our staff will be able to determine both if and how we may be of service.

  2. Juma Limbe says:

    I’m a Tanzanian guy
    wishing to graduate in
    China this July and told
    to do the same but I’m
    still blinded can you
    help the procedures ?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Juma Limbe,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Unfortunately, we do not have any contact with schools in China, nor do we have any information on graduation procedures at Chinese Schools. You may wish to contact the school, or a lawyer in China, to assist you with interpreting the requirements.

      I hope this is of some assistance.

  3. Kerry Dressler says:

    Thank you for your information. I sold a home in Florida and need an
    apostilled Warranty Deed to wire the money from the sale to my bank
    in Costa Rica. Can I have a True and Correct copy stamped
    Apostilled by the State of Florida?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Kerry,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      We are a Canadian Notary company, and do not have a location in Florida, USA. You may wish to contact your counsel in Florida that handled your transaction to obtain the necessary document(s).

      I hope this is of some assistance.

  4. David says:

    I want to notarize a letter to a
    bank. Should I send a copy and
    retain the original?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear David,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      If your bank requires a notarized letter, it is likely they need the original. If you want to keep an original, take two copies of the letter to the Notary who can then notarize your signature on both, so you can both send and keep an original.

      I hope this is of assistance.

  5. Kenyon, Karen says:

    I need to send a copy of
    my divorce papers certified
    by the custodial of the
    original copy. I can not
    send copies certified by a
    notary. Who is the
    custodial person?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Karen,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Assuming the ‘custodial’ of divorce papers is a term specific to your jurisdiction, you may wish to contact your lawyer or the authorities in that jurisdiction to determine who that would be. Likely it is either a Court or Government Registrar’s office (or something similar).

      I hope this is of some assistance.

  6. Carlos Anaya says:

    Hi Red Seal Notary, I want to know how
    much you charge for notarized or
    certified true copies fee of my Ontario
    high school transcripts with the purpose
    to submit it to York University.

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Carlos,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Our fees in detail are described on our fees page below. Assuming you have 1 high school transcript and need only 1 certified copy, our fee would be $59 plus tax at our appointments only locations. At our walk in locations it would be $49 plus tax.


      I hope this is of assistance.

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