Should you laminate official documents? Or will that invalidate or destroy those documents?
We take a look at this sticky issue, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : It Is Illegal To Laminate Official Documents!
The availability of cheap heat lamination machines and plastic lamination film make it easy for many people to laminate their official documents against damage.
However, this viral message on social media is warning people that laminating your official documents could invalidate them!
Is It Wrong To Laminate Official Documents? It Depends!
Many people laminate their official documents to protect them against damage, but generally, you should NEVER laminate your official documents.
You should only laminate them, when required under certain circumstances.
Here are the facts to help you determine when you should, or should not, laminate your official documents.
Fact #1 : Official Documents Should Not Be Altered In Any Way
You should never alter official documents like birth / death / divorce / marriage certificates, or vehicle / business / property registrations in any way.
This includes gluing them onto cardboard, punching holes in them for filing, or marking on them with a pen.
Fact #2 : Laminating Documents Could Invalidate Them!
Many official documents have embossed security seals and stamps to help prove their authenticity.
When you laminate such documents, the embossed seals and stamps are flattened by the heat and pressure of the lamination process.
This may invalidate those documents, effectively destroying their legal status.
In 2016, a Canadian man was denied a passport because he laminated his Certificate of Canadian Citizenship. He had to secure a new certificate.
Fact #3 : Laminated Documents Are Harder To Scan / Photocopy
Some official documents may come with a QR code, or bar code, imprinted as a security / validation measure.
Once laminated, the reflective plastic surface makes it harder to scan the QR or bar code, as well as to scan or make a photocopy.
Fact #4 : Lamination Films Adhesive May Damage Documents
Many plastic lamination films have an adhesive layer to ensure proper sticking to the paper.
This adhesive increases the risk of tearing if you attempt to delaminate the documents. It could also damage your documents, turning them yellow over time.
Fact #5 : You May Be Required To Laminate Certain Documents
The authorities may require you to laminate your official documents in certain cases. For example, the registration of the birth of a child to a Malaysian parent in Singapore requires a Singapore birth certificate that must be laminated.
To avoid damage to the official document that must be laminated, you can try placing it inside a clear, non-adhesive plastic sleeve, before laminating it.
This would prevent the adhesive from making contact with your document, and allow you to delaminate it without tearing.
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