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What is a Triple Seal on court documents, and do I need one?

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

What is a Triple Seal?

A triple seal (exemplified copy) is simply a fancy certified copy of a court record. It means there are three signatures on documents from the court.


  1. It is firstly certified and attested to by the clerk stating that it is attached to a True and Correct Copy,

  2. Then it is certified and signed by the judge stating that the clerk that signed above is the clerk and that he/she is the judge of the court in which the proceedings were had, and

  3. Lastly, the clerk signed and attested to stating that the court is a court of record, that the judge was duly elected to that court, and that his/her signature is genuine.

Certified Copy vs Triple Seal Copy

You might have heard the certified copy, and it's a copy of a court document or record that is certified by the official custodian of the original as a true copy. It is usually stamped and signed by a clerk with a seal attached.

While a triple seal copy is signed and sealed by the clerk of court and a judge (once by the judge and twice by court clerks), a triple seal or exemplified copy is usually required so that one state will recognize the judgment of another state in the US or for international purposes.

Requirements in some states

In DC, during normal days, a court document seeking an apostille or authentication certificate must first get a triple seal from the DC Superior Court. However, during the COVID-19 health emergency, the triple seal is not required, but you must still provide a certified copy from the court.

In Virginia, Circuit Court documents should contain a Certification of Official Record / Triple Seal (two-page document).

Important Notes

Not all states require a triple seal. The certified copy is satisfied in most cases but it's always safe to let the court clerk know your purpose (i.e. apostille or authentication for international use) when requesting those copies.

One thing to note here, court records and documents are not allowed to be notarized by a notary. So, instead of getting your court documents to a notary public for notarization, contact the court directly to get those copies.

Apostille Service you may need

After getting a certified copy or a triple seal copy of your court document, further steps are required before its use in foreign countries outside of the US.

👉 For a court document issued from the local or state court,

👉 For a court document issued from the federal court (district court),

The apostille and authentication process can be complicated, time-consuming, and distracting that requires expertise and experience. So just leave it to us! Our experts can provide you with a full range of fast services that allow you to save time and focus on your own careers and key areas.

If you are not sure which kind of apostille service you should choose, please refer to this guide. Or, contact us by describing ① the type of the document, ② which state the doc is from, and ③ in which country the doc will be used, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


American Notary Service Center Inc. provides fair, fast, confidential, and professional document notarization and certification services for our clients. We also provide various assistance services to small businesses led by socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Our service helps small businesses obtain federal government contracts, gain a foothold in the market, and boost their sales. For more information, please visit our website at, and contact us by calling 202-599-0777 or by email at


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