How do I get a document certified?

Published on Friday, May 3, 2019

The answer to the question “how do I get a document certified?” depends entirely on what type of certification you require. This article addresses the two most common types of document certification that you run across in Canada: 1) certifying the authenticity of your document so that it will be officially recognized in another country, and 2) having a Certified True Copy made of your document.

Certifying your document for use in another country

The process of certifying the authenticity of a Canadian document so that it will be recognized in another country is officially called document authentication and legalization. The document authentication and legalization process is also commonly referred to as document “apostille”, “attestation” or “certification”.

Document authentication and legalization is typically a three-step process. Step 1 involves preparing your document for processing. Step 2 involves authenticating your document with Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. And step 3 involves legalizing your document with the embassy or consulate of the country in which you need to use your document. Follow the links for more information on each of these steps.

Once your document has been legalized (Step 3 above), it will now be officially recognized in the country that legalized your document.

Certified True Copies

A “Certified True Copy” of a document is a copy of a document that has been certified as being an accurate representation of the original. To make a Certified True Copy of your document, you will need to bring the original and a photocopy to a Canadian Notary Public. The notary will compare the copy to the original and will certify the copy by placing their signature and seal directly on the copy. This type of notarization certifies that the document is a Certified True Copy of the original.

For many applications, submitting a Certified True Copy of your document will be acceptable. However, you should consult with the recipient of your document in advance to confirm that they will accept a Certified True Copy in place of the original.

Where can I get more information?

At International Documents Canada, we specialize in quickly and accurately navigating the Canadian authentication and legalization process for our clients. Our website has extensive information on the authentication and legalization process, and on related topics such as Certified True Copies. We also encourage you to reach out to our friendly specialists with your questions. We will answer any questions you have and clearly lay out your options for certifying your document – no pressure and no obligation. Call us toll free at 1-888-433-1011, or submit our short contact us form.