This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment broker, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.
There are two kinds of proofs of authenticity used by courts, exemplified and certified. The most common reason to order these from your court is so you can domesticate the judgment to another state where your judgment debtor’s assets are. They are both relatively expensive and quite different, so be sure what you need before ordering them.
An exemplified judgment is a copy of the judgment to which a certificate has been attached signed in three places, once by the judge, and twice by court clerks, attesting to the authenticity and validity of the judgment.
Authenticated or exemplified is the same thing. It is also called a triple certified document. An authenticated copy of a judgment is signed by two court clerks, and the chief judge. It costs about $50 or so. Because several people are involved with an authenticated copy, you should expect it to take a week.
A certificate of judgment is a certificate made by the clerk of the court in which the judgment was rendered, with the seal of the court, which is usually much cheaper than an authenticated copy of a judgment. In some states, a certificate of judgment is a lien.
If your court allows, you should request either a certified or an exemplified copy of your judgment in person. If not, by mail is the only other alternative. Costs vary by state, and sometimes county.
Costs to to get a certified or exemplified copy of the judgment is an example of “reasonable and necessary costs” as stated in California’s CCP 685.040; “The judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable and necessary costs of enforcing a judgment.” Let the judgment debtor object to this cost if they want to. In California, Riverside is one of the courts you can request online. www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/onlinecopyrequest.shtml.