Often a certain unfamiliar terminology leads to confusion when you present any of your documents before a legal authority. Particularly for people who are not associated with any legal profession, a few important terms, e.g. “legalization” and “attestation” may create a doubt whether they are the same or not. Essentially, they mean the same thing.
However, when a term like “certified copy” and the other term “notarized copy” comes, then you need to understand that in the legal process they need a clear distinction. If you are presenting your document in some other country then both these terms may not mean the same.
So, let us try to understand the clear difference between the certified document or certified by a notary London in a simple way so that it becomes quite clear.
Understanding the process
In the legal process, a notarization or certification is normally the first stage. This will prepare the document for your next step which is normally a stamp from the government of the issuing country.
The purpose of both these is simply to validate that the document presented is a genuine one. A certified true copy has been presented to keep the original document clean. However, this may not be acceptable in certain instances, like a UK birth/marriage certificate where the only original document will be considered as valid proof.
When a notarized copy is requested, but since there can always be differences in terminology used in one country and another, quite often it may be referring to the same certified true copy.
In case, you applied for a job where your HR department has asked you to send a list of documents that mentions a notarized copy, then it is necessary to clarify this point. This will save you from unnecessary harassment and also your time and costs.
What is a certified copy?
One can produce a certified copy of any of their original document by getting it certified by any registered solicitor by producing their original document. Here, the certifying executive will only verify that your copy is the same as your original document.
However, the signatory will never take the trouble to verify whether all the information provided in the original document is really correct or not. Here simply a photocopy of your original document will be taken and a solicitor will declare that the document is the true copy of its original. This is a relatively short process.
What is a notarized copy?
If your document is a notarized copy of your original document then you have to get it certified by a Notary public. Here the certifying authority will personally ensure that all the information contained within your original document is really authentic.
They may go to the extent of verifying from the original document awarding institution, and also keep a record with them about all the details of their finding and that will remain in their record. In case anybody ever questions them on what basis they have certified the document then they can present their findings. The process of notarization takes a little more time.