FAQ - Certified copies

Answers to your questions about certified copies
What is a certified copy?

A certified copy is a copy of a primary document (the original) that has been endorsed by an authorised person as a true copy of the primary document.

The authorised person is certifying that the copy and the original document are identical, not that the document presented as an original is authentic, the content of the original is accurate or the original was correctly and validly issued.

I need my a copy of my passport certified. What will the JP do?

The JP will usually:

  • scan the original document for obvious alterations or amendments
  • scan the copy to ensure it is a complete and accurate copy
  • stamp or write a certification on the copy and sign it.

You can help us help you if you:

  • bring the original document and the copy
  • bring photographic identification such as drivers’ licence, Proof of Identity/Proof of Age card or passport
What if I have a large number of photocopies to be certified?

It would be best to make an appointment by searching the Justice of the Peace Register to find a JP in your area. This will ensure there is enough time to help you. If you are attending a JP Signing Centre, you may be interrupted to allow others to have their needs met, or you may be asked to wait.

I received my original document in an email. Can a JP certify it?

A JP can certify an electronic document, such as one received by email or downloaded from the internet, as a true copy of the original under limited circumstances. If the JP cannot certify the document, you may be asked to prepare a statutory declaration that the document is a true copy of the original and is printed without alteration or amendment.

Will the Justice of the Peace photocopy my documents?

Probably not. The JP Signing Centres are commonly located in public libraries or other places where a photocopier is available for a small fee.

Do I need to copy both sides of the original documents I need to send with my application?

Yes, particularly if there is anything on the reverse side such as a registration number.

Do I need to bring the original document to the JP?

Yes. The JP must sight the original document and ensure the copy is a complete and accurate copy of it.

What if I miss the edge of the document when I photocopy it?

You will need to re-copy the document. The photocopy MUST be a true, complete and clear copy of the original document.

Can I copy all my original documents on the one page?

Yes, provided all the documents (both sides where appropriate) are copied clearly and there is enough space for the Justice of the Peace to certify each photocopy separately without covering any relevant or required features/information on each copy.

What if the copy is not clear?

You will need to re-copy the document.

Can I bring my daughter’s copies to be certified?

Yes, as long as you bring the original documents and the photocopies with you. However, you will be asked to provide photographic identification, as in this case you are the client, not your daughter.

I need to have my bank statement certified as a true copy to present with my application. I receive my bank statements as downloads on the internet. Can I print a copy from my computer, and get a copy of it certified?

The JP must see the original document, satisfy himself it is unaltered or amended, and be satisfied the copy is a true and accurate reproduction of the original (in every pertinent detail). This is often difficult with an electronic document. If the JP cannot be satisfied about the original or the copy, you may be asked to prepare a statutory declaration that the document is a true copy of the original and is printed without alteration or amendment.

The JP will usually be able to certify a copy of a document if the officiating JP has sighted the original document on a site under the control of the document’s issuing authority.