Certified True Copy
What is a Certified True Copy?
A certified true copy is a copy of an original document that has been verified by a qualified professional as being a full copy of the original document. In Hong Kong, financial institutions and banks often required certified true copy of documents to fulfil their anti-money laundering obligations. A certified true copy is stamped, signed and dated confirming that the said copy is a true copy of the original document.
What is the Purpose of a Certified True Copy?
A certified true copy of a document is often a practical and safe way to make a complete and accurate copy of an important document (identity documents, proof of address, banking records) which can be sent to third parties whilst insuring that the original document does not get damaged or lost in the process.
How long is it valid for ?
Technically speaking, there is no expiration date on certified true copies. However, in reality most financial institutions and government will be reluctant to accept certified true copy older than 3 months. If in doubt, you better ask whoever is requesting you to provide a certified true copy of a given document.
Who Can Certify a True Copy in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong solicitors, Notaries Public and Certified Public Accountants are allowed to prepare certified true copies. Such certified true copies are almost universally accepted by Hong Kong companies, government and financial institutions. However, it is always worthwhile to enquire directly with the organization requesting the documents what they are prepared to accept.
Usually a certified true copy of a document will include:
- a statement for the person making the certification;
- the date on which the certification was performed;
- the name, address, position (e.g. solicitor, notary public) and signature of the person who made the certification; and
- the total number of pages of the document being certified
Please see below a typical certification chop that would appear on a certified true copy.
In Hong Kong, the language of the certification statement is expected to be in English or Chinese. Usually, the government or financial institutions will not accept the certification statement in any other language.
Obtaining a Certified True Copy of a Document
We can prepare a certified true copy of any document the same day you retain our firm. Our fee is HK$150 for preparing a certified true copy of a document with a minimum charge of HK$300.