When a government agency or another entity requests for a document, it may be specified as “Notarized’, ‘Certified’ or ‘Original’. In some cases, it is meant to be self-attested. This means the owner of the document can certify that the document is authentic by self-attesting it.
In recent times, the need to self-attest documents has been on the increase particularly with respect to the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) program. So in this post, you will discover what it means to self-attest a document, why it is required and how to do it.
What is Self Attestation?
Self-attesting a document means to verify the document by yourself. Self-attestation empowers you to vouch for the authenticity of a document without the help of a public notary. It usually involves placing your signature on a document and writing “true copy-self attested”.
Why is Self Attestation Used to Certify a Document?
If you are familiar with document certification in the U.S., you will expect a document to be certified by a Notary with an official seal or stamp. This process of notarization works without any bottlenecks in developed countries where public notaries can easily be reached by those who need them.
This is not the case in developing countries like India, where a large number of people live in villages and other rural areas. In such nations, the notaries are clustered around legal institutions like courts and public administration buildings. This makes it difficult for many citizens to have access to official notarization for their documents. So the government decided to allow people to attest their documents to speed up the processing of such documents. That is why it has become a common practice for Indian consulates all over the world to request for self-attested copies of documents.
The Process of Self-Attestation
Self-attestation simply requires you to place your signature on a photocopy of the document you want to certify. After you have a made a clean copy of your document, write a statement on it such as: “True copy” or “Self-attested copy”. Then place your signature directly under it. The statement of attestation and your signature should be placed very close to the boundary of the paper.
If the document contains more than one page, you have to repeat the process for each page of the document. After you have finished self attesting the document, you can submit it to the requesting agency. Be sure to retain the original copy. Some agencies may still require you to present the original copy for verification in future.
It is important to note that after you successfully do your self attestation on the required documents, you do not need any notarization. Also, if a minor needs to do a self-attestation on a document, any of the parents of the child can act on behalf of the child.
Those are some of the most important things you need to know about self-attesting a document. It is a simple way of certifying a document by allowing the owner to append his or her signature to the copy.
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