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C20/2009 Copying of Certified Copies of Documents for Placement on File


DATE OF ISSUE:  15 December 2009

Copying of Certified Copies of Documents for Placement on File

Amends DI No.


Replaces DI No.



To provide policy guidance about copying and certification of certified copies of documents for internal use and placement on file.


If original documents are unavailable, true and certified copies of originals can be accepted to support a claim. The certified copy must be signed by a person before whom a statutory declaration can be made. The authorised person must write CERTIFIED TRUE COPY on the copy, sign and date it and insert their name, address, business hours telephone number and profession or occupation group as qualification to sign, on the document. JPs must also list their registration number and state/territory of registration. This is line with a whole of government approach adopted by Australian government agencies. The accepted qualifications for the certification of these documents are based in legislation.

In some instances, where claimants have paid for copies to be certified (for example, where solicitors have certified copies for a fee), they may be reticent to lodge the certified copy and request that it be copied for placement on file.

Agreed policy

It is acceptable for a certified copy of a document to be photocopied. The process of certification by an authorised person means that the original has been sighted and there is satisfaction that the copy is a true copy of an original. A certified copy therefore has an equivalent status to an original and can be copied.

Copies of certified copies of documents can only be used for internal purposes, that is for placement on file to support a claim. A claimant may not remove the copy and use it for any other purpose.

A delegate should write on the copy CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF A CERTIFIED COPY. This provides reassurance that the certified copy was sighted and that the copy is a true copy. The copy should also be signed and dated.

As a copy of a certified copy can be regarded in the same way as a copy of an original, it is not necessary for the original to be re-presented to support a claim.

Claimants should be encouraged to have documents certified by authorised government officials or other officers such as JPs, who will certify copies free of charge. This prevents claimants from bearing any cost in meeting the department's requirements.


The contact officer is Sharon Ride, Benefits, Payments and Rehabilitation Policy on x11178.

Adam Luckhurst

National Manager

Rehabilitation, Compensation and Income Support Policy Group

11 December 2009