What is a Certified Copy?

What is a Certified Copy?

Many organizations need evidence of your new name. Depending on your reason for changing names, this may be your marriage certificate, divorce decree or court issued name change order. Where an organization needs proof of name change and doesn’t want the responsibility of accepting the original by mail they may ask for a 'certified copy' or 'notarized copy'.

Certified copies

This is where you have made a photocopy of the document and have had it certified by the custodian of the record. For example, the county clerk has certified your marriage record. A photocopy of your driver's license has been certified by the DMV.

The certification process


  • Take one or more photocopies of the document to be certified.
  • Visit or book in with a representative of that organization, taking your original and the copies
  • A representative from that company will check the photocopy against the original for authenticity
  • They will stamp, sign and date the copy. They should also write their name, contact details, position and words to the effect that the document has been certified as a true copy.

If the document has been issued from interstate or it is difficult to get to their office in person, you can call the organization to ask what arrangements can be made for certified copies.  


When to send a certified copy

All documents in our kits will specificially list where a certified copy should be enclosed. 

Name change tip

Take photocopies of your old and new documents when visiting offices to have key documents changed into your new name. Ask the organization to certify your photocopies at the same time you apply for your name change. This is especially handy for photo ID, like passports and driver's license. You never know when it will come in handy, even if years later.

Notarized copies

A notarized copy is a photocopy of your document that has been signed by a notary public. They are unable to check the validity of the document with the issuing authority, but can validate that the copy is a true likeness of the original document. 

The notarization process


  • Do a google search for notaries in your county
  • Take the original document plus the required number of copies to the notary
  • The notary will write ‘This is a true copy of the original’, add their name, contact details and date. 
  • You may pay a nominal fee per notarized document


When to send a notarized copy

If any of our ready to send letters, faxes or forms require a notiarized copy of your identification, we explain this on that company's coverletter, or else in the personalized checklist that comes with your kit.

You are often asked to send a certified copy of your name change document or ID.  We explain what this means and why it’s necessary.

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