What do you mean by attestation of documents?


Attestation of the document is done for ensuring the validity of the document. When you are the possessor of a document it is assumed that you are the real authority of the document but it is not always the case. Sometimes, in the court of law, it is required by the citizen of India to authorize it through claiming their signatures or handwriting. The main purpose of the attestation of a document is to authorize it.

Documents can be of various types which need to be proved. The verification of the document is done differently for a different purpose. For instance, the central government attests the document for any government job or for abroad traveling purpose which is to be done by authorized personality and sometimes at a localized level, it is to be done by themselves only.

What is the purpose of the attestation of a document?

The purpose of attesting a document means simply authorizing it. In the Indian Law attestation of the document is required for various purposes. Under section 90 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872[i], attestation of a document is related to the person who is in the custody of any important document, the court assumes that the person who signs or any other part of the document is properly attested or executed by the person because of his signature.

However, this assumption is not to be done in the case of any detention or in cases where the written statement is relied upon the plaintiff as per section 90A(2) of the Indian Evidence Act,1872. The other purpose of attestation of the document is to know if the person who authorized over the document is of sound mind and had knowledge about the agreement he is entering into, under section 70 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, an attested document is the sufficient proof.

What are the different types of attestation of the document?

There are different types of attestation of documents done for a different purpose[ii]. These are as follows:

  • Notary Attestation: This type of attestation of a document is the most basic form of attestation for any kind of legal procedure and it is also the foremost step towards attestation of a document. It is basically done through signature which is obtained from a local notary.
  • Home Department Attestation: This type of attestation is mostly related to attesting personal documents which are to do by only authorized personals which include a death certificate, birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.
  • Human Right Department Attestation:This type of attestation is done to verify the authentication of educational certificates and documents. This is done in cases where an employer applies for a job or where a student goes for further education in order to find out his academic history.
  • Sub-divisional Magistrate Attestation: It performs independently unlike the HRD attestation and its function is the same as HRD attestation. It is an alternative to HRD attestation, but in some cases, it is mandatory to get attested by HRD.
  • Chamber of Commerce Attestation: This is an organization formed by the local businessmen for the attestation of the commercial document. Through attestation of the document, it proves that the business is set up under legal procedure.
  • MEA Attestation: The Ministry of External Affairs attestation deals with providing authentication on foreign-related documents. It is done through the application of MEA stamps or stickers on the document.
  • Embassy Attestation: This type of attestation is done by respective foreign countries to check the validity of his documents. For instance, if an Indian is traveling to China, then at his arrival the documents of his identification will be checked by the Chinese embassy.
  • Apostille Attestation: This process is performed by the Ministry of External Affairs for those who are the member of the Hague Convention. There are 105 members and those who are a member of the convention they do not have to attest the document if it is once done by one of the member countries. It is done for personal documents like marriage, birth and death certificates and also educational documents like degree, diploma, etc.[iii]

How can a document be attested?

When a person is traveling from one country to another for educational purposes or for a personal or business-related purpose. The country where one person is going to, he needs to verify his documents in order to prove his credentials to a visiting country. For instance, a person is traveling to the USA for further studies from India, so here, in this case, he has to give his education credentials in order to get permission to travel to the USA for further education.

Attestation of a document is done by an authorized person or department who have an official seal and signature. Through attesting the certificates, the authority who issued the certificate gets confirmed about its validity and if any wrong information is given by the person it can be easily verified. The document attestation for a different purpose is done by the different authorized departments[iv]. They are:

  • For personal documents, the Home Department/General Administration Department is authorized for attestingdocuments.
  • For educational certificates, the documents need to be authorized by the state /union territory who are authorized for attesting educational documents. Then the documents which are authorized by the state government/ union territory are attested by the Ministry of external affairs. However, MEA does not take responsibility for the content of the document.
  • For commercial purpose, the documents before sending it to the Ministry of external affairs needs to attest by the Chambers of Commerce Ministry.

How an educational document is attested?

An educational document is attested by the issuing country who issues the certificate. In India, attestation of degree certificate is done by concerned HRD or MEA and also by the concerned Embassy. It can be done even if the person whose certificate is attested is not present in the country. The documents that are required for Educational Certificate Attestation is:

  • Original Certificate
  • Passport Copy
  • Visa Copy
  • Passport Size Photograph-2
  • Authorization Letter

How can a personal document be attested?

The personal documents like birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, employment/experience certificate, single status certificate, medical certificate, etc. are the documents that are attested by authorized officials for confirming the credibility of the documents that are issued by respective authorized authority. The documents that are required for attestation are:

  • Original Certificate
  • Passport Copy
  • Visa Copy
  • Passport Size Photograph-2
  • Authorization Letter

These documents are attested to those who are visiting India for any personal reasons and they need to use these documents. This act confirms that the certificates which are issued are authentic.

Where attestation personal document in India is done?

The attestation of a document in India is done firstly by the state government or by Union Territory before getting approval for the Ministry of External Affairs. The states where attestation of the document can be done are:[v]

  • Delhi
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Kerala
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • West Bengal
  • Karnataka
  • Punjab
  • Tamil Nadu

Where attestation of an educational document is done?

The attestation of an educational document is done for various educational fields in India by the state government/ Union Territory. They are:

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Gujarat
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Punjab
  • Karnataka (Bangalore Only)
  • Delhi
  • West Bengal
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Attestation Services for Sikkim Manipal University

Where embassy attestation of the document is done?

When a document is attested by the state government and the Ministry of External Affair in New Delhi, then it has to be attested by respective embassies, where a person is traveling for any reason. The following are the attestation in India:

  • Qatar
  • UAE
  • Kuwait
  • Indonesia
  • Morocco
  • Philippines
  • Egypt
  • Saudi
  • China
  • Yemen etc.


The attestation of documents done so that a person cannot misuse other’s personal documents for personal benefit. It is thus, important to prove the authentication of the documents. 

Edited by Pushpamrita Roy

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje 


[i]The Indian Evidence Act, 1872.





Samridhi Srivastava
I samridhi srivastava is pursuing B.A.LL.b from Lloyd Law college. My inclination is towards writing legal articles and doing legal research work and is also looking forward to have a career in legal journalism. I am also interested in writing shayari; reading novels of great personality like Swami Vivekanand, my experience with truth, APJ Abdul Kamal's sir autobiography etc.; reading news and listening music in my free time.