Documents to get Certified True Copies of

Certified True Copies

In order for your documentation to be authenticated for international use in Cuba, it must first be certified as true representations of your documents by the state authority which issued these documents.

What is a Certified True Copy?

A certified true copy is an exact copy of a document. A certified true copy differs from a certified copy because the former is issued by the agency that produced the document itself, whereas a regular certified copy is a certification from a notary public that the copy is of the original document they saw, with no attestation of the authenticity of the original document. So a certified true copy attests that both the original document is legitimate, and the copy is an exact copy of that document.

How to Get Certified True Copies

How to certify your identity documents to marry in Cuba depends upon which state you live in. However, you’re likely to have a few options:

  • mail in service – normal processing time is usually 4-6 weeks, on average
  • in-person service – normal processing time is usually same day
  • online/phone service – most states make use of VitalChek, a private company that allows both online and phone ordering but charges an additional fee.

If you don’t have one of the documents required, you can get it and the certified true copy at the same time, usually.

Please note that all 50 states have different rules and processing times. You can find the list of state offices here.

The other thing to remember is that some States have not digitized their records, so for particularly old documents from certain states, document certification may take much, much longer than average. For example: a marriage certificate issued before 1986 could take up to 6 months to get certified.

Once you have your certified true copies of the documents you need, you need to get these copies authenticated by the US State Department in Washington DC.

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