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Avalara Help Center

Validate a document

This article applies to:CertCapture

When adding a document to CertCapture, you'll need to enter some basic information about the document before it can be attached to an existing customer.

CertCapture does not automatically validate the legitimacy of exemption certificates or other compliance documents with the taxing jurisdiction. Contact your Account Manager if you're interested in a paid validation service.


Before you begin

  1. Upload a document to CertCapture.
  2. Merge the document to adjust the formatting.


  1. In CertCapture, view the documents available to you:
    1. Go to Manage Documents > Upload and Validate Documents.
      The Upload and Validate Documents page opens.
    2. From Available Documents, select Available Documents or My Unfinished Documents.
      Documents Claimed by Others are the files being validated by other users on your account.
  2. Select the files you want to validate with one of the following options:
    • Validate a single document: Find a document with the stage Ready for Validation, and then select the file name.
    • Validate multiple documents: Select the checkbox to the left of the file names, then select Action > Claim Documents.

      The document validation page opens.
  3. Enter the document details into the validation page.


    Use this table as a guide for each field available during validation.

    Tip icon

    Make sure that you select an exempt reason that is valid for all of the selected exposure zones. Refer to this guide for a list of the valid exempt reasons for each state and territory.
  4. Select Validate to complete the process. The document is no longer in the Validate Documents queue. Use search to find it.
    • If you aren't ready to complete the validation, select Release to return the certificate to the Available Documents view where another user can validate it.
    • When you Release a document, the changes you made are not saved.
    • If you're a Pre-Validation User, you won't see the Validate button and you'll need to escalate documents so other members of your team can complete the validation.

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. 

Document validation fields in CertCapture

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, select 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.

Note: You will receive a warning message if you select an exempt reason that is not valid for any of the selected exposure zones. This warning message does not prevent you from validating the document, but does indicate that the document may not work to exempt customers in AvaTax.

Refer to this guide for the valid exempt reasons for each state and territory.

Created Date

The day the document was first uploaded to CertCapture. This date can't be edited.

CertCapture uses the ISO 8601 date format. The default format can't be changed.

Effective Date

The day the document begins exempting the customer. The date should match the date on the document.

If you select a date in the future, the certificate does not apply to transactions until that calendar date.


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. 

Select multiple exposure zones to create a multijurisdictional document. After you add an exposure zone, select this field again to add another.

Tax ID

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

Select 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

Use this field only if the document is invalid. You can select an invalid reason or search for one.

Customer Attributes

If you track customer attributes such as Business Closed, Address Change Needed, etc., assign those attributes here.

Attributes don't have any impact on how documents are applied, but can be used to customize your search results.

Certificate Attributes

If you track document attributes, such as Multi-Jurisdictional, Drop-Ship, etc., assign those attributes here.3

Attributes don't have any impact on how documents are applied, but can be used to customize your search results.

Validation Fax / Email Updates

Add a fax number or email address to notify someone that the document has been validated. If you want to add multiple email addresses or fax numbers, select Enter on your keyboard and enter each as a separate line.

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. After validation, navigate to the History tab of the document to view the notes you enter here.
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. 

If you don't want these fields to be required, contact Avalara Support.



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