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Avalara Help Center

Validate Certificates in CertCapture

All new certificates must be manually validated by a CertCapture user before they can be attached to an existing customer.

CertCapture doesn't automatically validate the legitimacy of exemption documents. Contact your Customer Account Manager (CAM) if you're interested in a paid validation service.


Validate and attach certificates

Don't forget that certificates can't be validated until they've been uploaded and merged. When they're ready:

  1. Go to Manage Documents > Validate Documents.
    • Click the Available Documents drop-down and select Available Documents or My Unfinished Documents to view the documents available to you
    • Documents Claimed by Others are the files being validated by other users on your account

  2. If your file's Stage column says Ready for Validation, click the file to open a new window.
    • Check multiple files if you want to validate them all in one session
  3. The validation window is where you confirm the certificate is accurate and link the certificate to a specific customer.


    Use this table to complete the required fields:
    Field Description

    Associate this certificate with a specific customer in your account.

    CertCapture suggests customers as you type the customer's number or name. Select a customer to link them to the certificate. Likewise, click the + to search for individual customers by their name, address, or phone number.

    If you need to link a single certificate to multiple customers, repeat the above for every customer you want to add. 

    Users typically link multiple customers to a single certificate when working with a customer that has multiple store locations, since those customers often have unique customer numbers in billing systems. 

    Exempt Reason

    The reason should match the exempt reason on the document.

    Created Date The day the document was first uploaded to CertCapture. Can't edit this.
    Effective Date

    The day the document begins exempting the customer.

    The date should match the date on the document.


    If you use CertCapture Retail, select the Retail Location related to the exemption.

    If you do not use CertCapture Retail, ignore this field.

    Single Use

    Check this box if the document you are validating should only apply to a single purchase order. 

    If this box is checked, a PO Number is required further down.

    Exposure Zone

    The state or territory where your company must collect exemption documents. This field should match the state or territory on the document.

    After you add an Exposure Zone, Tax ID and Expire Date become available further down. 

    Tax ID

    The Tax ID specified on the document. This field only appears after you select an Exposure Zone.

    Click the Tax ID field to view formatting requirements for Tax IDs in that state.

    Certain states also include a link to verify the Tax ID with that state's Department of Revenue.

    Tax IDs are important for maintaining tax compliance. This setting can be disabled in Company Settings > Company Details.


    Expire Date

    The day the document no longer exempts the customer. This date should match the one on the document.

    Consider adding a future date like 12/31/9999 if the certificate will never expire.

    Invalid Reason

    If the document is invalid. select a reason or search for one.

    Customer Attributes If you track customer attributes such as Business Closed, Address Change Needed, etc., assign those attributes here.
    Certificate Attributes If you track document attributes, such as Multi-Jurisdictional, Drop-Ship, etc., assign those attributes here.
    Validation Fax / Email Updates

    Add a fax number or email address to notify someone that the document has been validated.

    If you want this to field to automatically fill with the email address of the customer linked to this document, turn on Populate Customer Email in Validate Documents in your Company Details.

    Notes Notes are attached to your document and can be reviewed after validation.
    Attach File or Add Comment

    Add additional files, such as extra verification or forms, and make comments that you can review later. These are attached to both the customer and the certificate. See Add Files and Comments to Documents or Customers.

    PO Numbers If Single Use was checked above, provide the purchase order associated with the document.
    SST Information

    This field appears if your Exposure Zone is set to a state that is in compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.

    If the state is in compliance with the agreement, Tax Number Type and Business Number Type are required in order to validate the document.

  4. When you're done, click Validate. The document is no longer in the Validate Documents queue. Use search to find it.

Click Release to return the certificate to the Available Documents view where another user can validate it. Release does not process the document further.

If you close the validation window without completing or releasing a document, CertCapture assigns it to you and saves it for later. Find it again under the My Unfinished Documents queue

How multi-jurisdictional certificate IDs work

If the document you're validating is a multi-jurisdictional exemption certificate (one form that records a customer's exempt status in more than one jurisdiction), the Certificate ID for the document while you're validating it is the ID that was assigned during upload.

Once you've validated the document, each of the certificate's jurisdictions assumes a new Certificate ID.

For example, the original document has a Certificate ID of 500:

  • Once you validate the document and indicate that it's multi-jurisdictional, each jurisdiction is stored with a separate Certificate ID
  • The first jurisdiction keeps the Certificate Id of 500. Other jurisdictions are stored with next sequential Certificate ID number, ie 501, 502, and 503


Escalate certificates

If you can't validate the certificate on your own, click Escalate to send it to the Escalated queue.

  1. While processing a document, click the Escalate button.
  2. In the Escalate Certificate dialog box, click Select Reason, and do either of the following:
    • Select No Customer Number
    • Select Other and add a reason why the document couldn't be validated.
  3. Click Escalate.
  4. Continue validating any other certificates in the stack. If you need to escalate any other certificates, repeat these steps.
  5. Escalated documents are moved to the processing queue within the Validate Documents screen - and are marked as Ready to Validate (Escalated)

Reprocess certificates with errors

If you've uploaded a document and it's failed to process correctly, try re-processing it.

  1. Go to Manage Documents > Validate Documents. Click the Stage drop-down, and select Failed to Process to filter your queue.

  2. In your queue, click the check the box next to any of the failed documents you want to re-process. Then click Action > Re-Process Document.

  3. Documents can be reprocessed up to three times. If the document fails after the third attempt, it's added to the Failed to Process stage and you need to upload it again.    

Customize email notifications and email addresses

Email notifications may be sent after validating a document. Certain email notifications can be customized or disabled.

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