Certificate of accuracy for a copy of a document
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:50
+ ...
Mar 18, 2010

I need to translate a faxed copy of a document. My client doesn't have the original document, but the same state agency that sent him the fax is the agency that wants the translation. I'll state in the certificate of accuracy that I'm translating a copy, but I don't know if I need to be more specific or even paste a small version of the image. I've only translated original certificates, never a copy.


Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:50
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I use the following phrase Mar 19, 2010

At the end of my "certificate of accuracy" I use this formula:

I make no representations as to the authenticity of the document presented for translation; however, I do hereby certify that the attached translation is true and complete to the best of my knowledge, ability and belief.



José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some input from Brazil Mar 19, 2010

In the US you don't have laws on certified translators, so it's up to each translated document receiving agency to set their own rules. I am familiar with the issue, because while in Brazil we have a law since 1943 specifying certified translation requirements nationwide, we don't have laws on when certified copies and/or notarized signatures mest be provided: each agency sets their own rules, unless a specific law does it for them.

The Brazilian law states that no document in a foreign language is valid anywhere in Brazil for official/legal purposes unless attached to a certified translation made in accordance to that same law. I've explained most details - irrelevant here - at http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/faqs.html .

One important point is that we, certified public translators, are not implicitly deemed experts in document authenticity. Nowadays anyone can use a DTP program and a laser printer to counterfeit a legit-looking document.

So in every certified translation, in the introduction, we describe what we translated from: an original, a plain copy, a notarized copy, a scanned electronic file (which we print out to attach), and state whether we've rubber-stamped and initialled the original (impossible, e.g. on a driver's license), and whether we are attaching the 'original' used to translate, or a copy we've made ourselves (also rubber-stamped and initialled).

To illustrate, if it's a POA, the original must be attached, as if it's a fake, they'll be able to submit it to forensics. A driver's license, ID, or passport cannot be attached - only a copy of it - because the bearer will have to go on using it. An original diploma shouldn't be attached for the same reason.

The point in attaching a stamped and initialled copy is to say: Hey, I've translated from this paper. I accurately translated what was in there. If you think it's bogus, go check it out, as I'm only a translator, not a document expert.

This should keep you on the safe side. If your fax uses thermal paper, make and attach a [/i]permanent[/i] copy to the translation, as thermal paper fades in some 3 years, depending on storage, leaving a blank sheet with your stamp and initials to print/copy anything on.

[Edited at 2010-03-20 00:47 GMT]


Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:50
+ ...
Very useful Mar 20, 2010

Thank you Catalin and José, both of you were very helpful.


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Certificate of accuracy for a copy of a document

Advanced search

BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »

  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search