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Attest vs. Certify: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Attest involves bearing witness or confirming validity, while certify means officially recognizing competence or validity.
Attest vs. Certify

Key Differences

Attest refers to the act of witnessing and then affirming as true or genuine, often formally, while certify involves the process of formally confirming or verifying the attributes or qualities of something or someone.
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Dec 06, 2023
Attest is generally used in contexts where personal observation or experience is the basis for confirmation, whereas certify often involves an official or formal declaration, typically related to skills, health, or authenticity.
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Dec 06, 2023
When someone attests something, they are providing a testament or evidence based on what they have seen or known, while to certify something typically means that a person or entity with authority has verified the credentials or standards being assessed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023
Attest can also involve the act of witnessing a signature for legal or formal purposes, showing presence or involvement, while certify often implies that an assessment has been made against set standards or criteria, leading to official recognition or compliance.
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Shumaila Saeed
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In legal or official documents, an attestation can serve as proof of the document's genuineness, whereas a certification often conveys that an individual or organization has met specific qualifications or standards set by an authoritative body.
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Comparison Chart

Basis

Personal witness or experience
Official standards or criteria
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Usage Context

Legal witnessing, evidence confirmation
Qualification, standard assessment
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Dec 06, 2023

Authority Involved

Individual or legal witness
Accredited bodies or officials
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Nature

Subjective, based on personal verification
Objective, based on predefined standards
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Outcome

Confirmation of genuineness or presence
Granting of official status or recognition
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Attest and Certify Definitions

Attest

To formally witness or certify a legal document.
The notary attested the signatures on the contract.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Certify

To provide a formal attestation or assurance.
The doctor certified his fitness to play.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Attest

To testify or bear witness to a fact or event.
She attested to seeing the incident occur.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Certify

To declare something to be true or authentic in an official capacity.
The court certified the document as genuine.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Attest

To declare or affirm something as true based on personal witness.
He attested to the authenticity of the painting.
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Dec 06, 2023
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Certify

To officially recognize someone or something as possessing certain qualifications or meeting standards.
The agency will certify the new software for safety.
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Dec 06, 2023

Attest

To provide evidence or proof of something.
Her work experience attests to her expertise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Certify

To officially acknowledge or confirm.
The instructor certified his completion of the course.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Attest

To affirm the correctness or validity of something.
The audit attested the accuracy of the financial statements.
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Dec 06, 2023

Certify

To guarantee something with authority.
The manufacturer certified the product's quality.
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Dec 06, 2023

Attest

To affirm to be correct, true, or genuine
The date of the painting was attested by the appraiser.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To confirm formally as true, accurate, or genuine
The police certified that a suspect had been arrested.
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To certify by signature or oath
Attest a will.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To guarantee as meeting a standard
Butter that was certified Grade A.
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To certify in an official capacity.
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Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To acknowledge in writing on the face of (a check) that the signature of the maker is genuine and that there are sufficient funds on deposit for its payment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To supply or be evidence of
Her fine work attests her ability.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To issue a license or certificate to.
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

(Linguistics) To confirm the existence, usage, or currency of (a word, for example), as by being recorded in writing.
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Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To declare to be in need of psychiatric treatment or confinement.
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To put under oath.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

(Archaic) To inform positively; assure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To bear witness; give testimony
Attested to their good faith.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To vouch for the authenticity of something
Certify to the facts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

(Archaic) Attestation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

(transitive) To attest to (a fact) as the truth.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

(transitive) To affirm to be correct, true, or genuine.
When will the appraiser attest the date of the painting?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To authenticate or verify in writing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

(transitive) To certify by signature or oath.
You must attest your will in order for it to be valid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

(transitive) To attest that a product, service, organization, or person has met an official standard.
These blankets have been certified as fireproof.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

(transitive) To certify in an official capacity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To inform; to tell (a person) that something is true.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

(ambitransitive) To supply or be evidence of.
Her fine work attested her ability.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To assure (oneself) of something; to ascertain.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

(transitive) To put under oath.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To give cetain information to; to assure; to make certain.
We certify the king, that . . . thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To call to witness; to invoke.
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Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To give certain information of; to make certain, as a fact; to verify.
The industry of science at once certifies and greatly extends our knowledge of the vastness of the creation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To bear witness to; to certify; to affirm to be true or genuine; as, to attest the truth of a writing, a copy of record.
Facts . . . attested by particular pagan authors.
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Oct 19, 2023

Certify

To testify to in writing; to make a declaration concerning, in writing, under hand, or hand and seal.
The judges shall certify their opinion to the chancellor, and upon such certificate the decree is usually founded.
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To give proof of; to manifest; as, the ruins of Palmyra attest its ancient magnificence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

Provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes;
His high fever attested to his illness
The buildings in Rome manifest a high level of architectural sophistication
This decision demonstrates his sense of fairness
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

To call to witness; to invoke.
The sacred streams which Heaven's imperial stateAttests in oaths, and fears to violate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

Guarantee payment on; of checks
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

Witness; testimony; attestation.
The attest of eyes and ears.
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Oct 19, 2023

Certify

Authorize officially;
I am licensed to practice law in this state
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Attest

Provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes;
His high fever attested to his illness
The buildings in Rome manifest a high level of architectural sophistication
This decision demonstrates his sense of fairness
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Certify

Guarantee as meeting a certain standard;
Certified grade AAA meat
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

Authenticate, affirm to be true, genuine, or correct, as in an official capacity;
I attest this signature
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Oct 19, 2023

Certify

Declare legally insane
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

Give testimony in a court of law
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Oct 19, 2023

Attest

Establish or verify the usage of;
This word is not attested until 1993
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does it mean to attest a document?

It means to formally witness and confirm the document's validity or truthfulness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Can anyone certify a document?

No, certification typically requires an authorized person or entity.
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Dec 06, 2023

Does certify imply legal responsibility?

Yes, certifying something often carries legal responsibility for its accuracy.
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Dec 06, 2023

Who can certify a professional qualification?

Only accredited bodies or institutions can certify professional qualifications.
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Dec 06, 2023

Do attestations need a signature?

Yes, attestations typically require the signer's signature.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Can attestations be revoked?

Yes, if found false or erroneous, attestations can be revoked.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Is attestation always legal?

Attestation is often legal, but it can also occur in non-legal contexts.
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Dec 06, 2023

Are attestations used in court?

Yes, attestations can be used as evidence in court.
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Dec 06, 2023

Does certification ensure quality?

Certification implies that something meets certain standards, which often includes quality.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Is a witness's statement an attestation?

Yes, a witness's statement can be considered an attestation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Does attesting a document make you legally responsible?

Yes, it can imply legal responsibility for the truthfulness of the document.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Are certifications universally recognized?

Not always; recognition depends on the issuing authority and the context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Can certifications expire?

Yes, certifications, especially professional ones, often have expiry dates.
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Dec 06, 2023

Are all certifications legally binding?

Not all, but many certifications have legal implications.
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Dec 06, 2023

What's the difference between certification and licensure?

Certification acknowledges qualifications, while licensure grants legal permission to practice.
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Dec 06, 2023

Can certifications be done online?

Yes, many certifications can be completed and issued online.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Is personal knowledge enough to attest something?

Personal knowledge can be sufficient for attestation, depending on the context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Is a certificate always proof of certification?

Yes, a certificate is generally issued as proof of certification.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Is attestation necessary for all legal documents?

Many legal documents require attestation, but not all.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Can attest be used informally?

Yes, attest can be used in informal contexts to affirm truth or presence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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