How Are Legal Documents Authenticated?

Originally posted on 04/04/2016

A business person signs a document with a golden pen, authenticating the document.While a signature may be authenticated by someone who has reasonable familiarity with a subject's writing, the majority of legal documents require more than a simple statement stating that they are authentic. It is necessary to follow certain steps in order to prove this. These steps vary, depending upon what type of document you are trying to authenticate

In this article, we'll go through the most important info you need to know about authenticating documents.

General Documents

Documents such as diplomas, business documents, receipts and the like can be authenticated by having them notarized and acknowledged by the County Clerk of Courts. Some of these may also require the Secretary of State to also verify the authenticity. In order to receive this authentication, you will have to sign the document in front of the official notarizing the document and, in most cases, have someone else witness the signing

State and Local Documents

Birth and death certificates, wills, probate papers, and the like all fall into this category. These documents must bear the official seal of the state in which they were issued. These documents must be original and stamped by the court that issued them or the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Federal Documents

These documents, such as immigration papers, federal court documents and many federal certifications must not only be signed by the official in charge of that particular federal department but also contain the stamped or raised seal of that department.

Additional Requirements

Depending on the document in question, there may be additional requirements set forth by the authenticating bodies. It is a recommendation that any documents you need, especially those of a general nature, are printed on official letterhead paper, further verifying that this is where the document originated.

Work with Professional Document Authenticators

There is a lot to document authentication, research, and retrieval. The info above should give you the basics of document authentication. If you are looking for a process server or have questions regarding document authenticating, contact Same Day Process today!

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