Is It Compulsory To Laminate All Documents?

In case you don’t know, I run a business centre where people can do several online registrations, photocopies, lamination and more.


With years of active working as a manager, consultant and business owner, I’ve seen several customers who would want to laminate their documents among which were results and certificates.



I’d always told them not to laminate some documents. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t have good knowledge of what was waiting for them if they laminated certain credentials.



In other words, some documents can be laminated without the fear of backfiring. Some shouldn’t be laminated to avoid being let down where they could be needed most.

In this post, I will be giving you practical real-life experiences of why you shouldn’t laminate some credentials, which ones not to laminate and which ones you can laminate and if you’ve laminated the wrong ones, how to remove them.

Let’s dive into it.

Don’t Laminate WAEC, NECO and NABTEB Original Results/Certificates

There is a difference between WAEC, NECO, or NABTEB original results also called the certificates



While you can print the online results at a café or business centre of your choice, you will ONLY collect your original WAEC, NECO and NABTEB results at the schools of the exams (if school candidates i.e. May/June or June/July), and at WAEC, NECO or NABTEB offices (if private candidates i.e. Nov/Dec, Jan/Feb, Aug/Spt)

Having established, briefly, the difference between the two, you should never laminate your original results/certificates.

A confused candidate recently asked WAEC the same question. The answer was a Capital NO.

The guy asked


Is it advisable to laminate WAEC original certificate? Please address this issue as there are a lot of controversies concerning it



It is not advisable to do that as the experience of some candidates have shown. Get the ‘Certificate Cover’ at our office nearest to you and that will do, please.


Experiences Being Shared by Candidates Who Laminated their Results



WAEC said, “…experiences of some candidates have shown” but didn’t list those experiences.

Below are such experiences you shouldn’t pray for.


  1. Some students were not cleared for admissions or job screening because the officials suspected that their results or certificates were fake. The officials believe in seeing, touching and feeling the papers instead of the nylons that covered the documents.
  2. If you’re travelling abroad to work and/or study, the certificates would not be stamped because the nylon covering it won’t allow them to confirm the originality of the documents.


Don’t Laminate Any Other Certificates As Well

Even though I’ve been talking about the results of your SSCE, that doesn’t mean it didn’t cut across other certificates so to say.

After your primary school, National Diploma, Nigeria Certificate in Education, Higher National Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree, NYSC etc, you’ll be awarded certificates. These credentials shouldn’t be laminated too.



You’re going to suffer the same fate as candidates being denied clearance, screening and stamping where they need them most.




You Can Laminate Online Printouts and Other Non-Certificate/Result Papers

There are credentials you can laminate without any fear.


  1. WAEC, NECO or NABTEB result printouts from the internet can be laminated. In fact, that can be reprinted from the internet in case you need it. You CAN’T reprint your certificate if it’s rejected because of the lamination or any reason at all.
  2. Documents such as birth certificates or age declaration certificates, local government identification or state of origin certificates, and primary and secondary school testimonials can be laminated without it boomerang.
  3. You can as well do lamination of photocopies of all your credentials instead of the original.


What to Do Instead of Lamination Certificates

There are a few steps you can take to protect your credentials from wear and tear, damages etc.

Consider any of the following protection measures instead of lamination.


  1. Buy the laminating nylon/films. Put the papers inside and staple or glue them around without the staple pins or gum touching the paper.
  2. If the business centre knows how to go about it, ask them to laminate only two of three open edges of the laminating films/nylons. This will leave an open edge for you to take out the paper anytime it’s required.
  3. As suggested by WAEC, you can get WAEC, NECO or NABTEB certificate cover. This is the officially recommended film and purse you can keep your credentials. You can get that at any of their offices
  4. You can also get a hard plastic envelope or folder at local shops and from hawkers to keep safe your credentials.


What If I’ve Already Laminated My Certificates?

Some candidates, out of ignorance and the greed of business centres that laminated for them, had already messed up with their documents.

If you find yourself in this situation, what do you do?

Well, what I’m about to share with you works in most cases. And you should be liable for the success or failure of it. If done, well, it should work fine for you.

To remove laminating film/nylon from your certificates, follow the steps below.


  1. Put the laminated document in another polythene bag or nylon that can cover it whole
  2. After that, place it inside a working and active refrigerator or deep freezer for about 1 hour.
  3. Take it out and open up the wrap of a polythene bag or nylon.
  4. Take note if the laminating film has clearly separated from the document.
  5. If it will work for you, the laminating film should obviously be separated from the paper inside.
  6. Clearly, with this, you can open up any edge of the laminating film and carefully take out the document.
  7. If the laminating film doesn’t separate from the paper after taking it out of the wrapper, you may return it wrapped to the refrigerator/freezer until it does. If it doesn’t work in the end, it’s likely that the laminating machine has pressed the film too close to the paper discouraging this separation. You may need to accept your faith here and pray for the best