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How can you recognize a fake divorce certificate?

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Quick Answer

It is possible to recognize a fake divorce certificate by what it is missing: a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, the registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office. A real certificate is a government-issued, certified document. The state issuing the certificate determines the type of seal that appears on the document.

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Full Answer

Services such as VitalChek can provide "informational" copies or "souvenir/heirloom" copies of a divorce certificate, which are uncertified and do not include the official seal or registration information. VitalChek, however, does work with government agencies to provide these documents. Sites such as Certificate Templates Online simply offer fake documents, which are essentially templates that the user can fill in with any information he desires. These documents are meant to be printed out at home and do not include any of the tell-tale signs of a government document.

Most importantly, a divorce certificate is a public document that should be available using a government service such as PACER, which stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. PACER is accessible to anyone who registers for an account. Documents such as divorce certificates are available on PACER immediately after they have been electronically filed. Accessing case information costs 10 cents per page, as of 2015.

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