Authorization Letters

An Authorization Letter is a business document which temporarily transfers the authority of carrying out a specific task from one person to another person. Its need usually arise when the original authorized person is unable to represent him/ herself due to his/ her absence for some reasons. Given below are the details of how to write a valid authorization letter.

How to Prepare an Authorization Letter:

To prepare an authorization letter one should have clear understanding about what an authorization letter does. An authorization letter gives another person the authority or right to act on your behalf in certain matters. They are primarily used in circumstances in which the letter writer is not able to represent themselves.

A few examples of such situations that may require an authorization letter include: it is advisable to give an authorization letter for minors travelling with adults who are not their parents or guardians. This will protect them from child trafficking and child custody issues too. If you have money in regional bank that that you can no longer easily access, you may need to write a letter of authorization to allow someone else to handle the issues that arise with the account and financial institution. An authorization letter can allow release of personal information such as medical records, you may also need to authorize another party to act on your behalf to handle, especially the fast moving financial transactions. Not every business deal can wait for you are temporarily in dispose, you write a letter of authorization and temporarily grand decision making power to a trusted colleague.

Parties Involved in Authorization Letter:

Identify the different parties involved in an authorization letter. Generally there are three parties involved in an authorization letter: the first party is the original rights holder such as the parents of a child or the owner of a bank account, the second party is the group of individuals with whom the first party is conducting a transaction such a financial institution or hospital, the third party is the person selected to act as a proxy or representative in the first party absence. The letter should be addressed to the second party. The letter will explain the rights granted to the proxy who will be acting in your place. If the second party is not known, especially in cases when authority was granted for potential emergency situations. You will have to address the letter simply to whom it may concern.

Format of Writing an Authorization Letter:

Type your authorization letter rather than writing it by hand:

  1. It must be prepared to meet scrutiny. If someone else close to you wants to dispute the authority of the letter holder. The document may be used as evidence in court of law.
  2. The hand written letter may be difficult to read and isn’t professional in appearance as a typed letter. The authorization letter is an important document authorizing someone to hold your legal or financial powers for you.

Writing a letters heading includes:

  1. Place your name and address at the top left side of the page.
  2. Follow a standard format of a business letter. Your name should be on the first line. Your street information on the second line and your city, state and ZIP code on the third line.
  3. All lines, including those that follow should be single spaced.
  4. Include the date after your name and address. Skip one line and place the current date on the next line.

Write the recipient’s name and address:

  1. Leave one blank line between the date and first part of recipient’s name and address. The receiver’s information should be in the same format as your information.
  2. Keep in mind the recipient is not the same as one who is authorized to make decisions for you. You are granting authority to a third party, the proxy, to act on your behalf but the letter should be addressed to the second party, the one with whom you and your proxy are dealing.

Writing the body of letter:

  1. Use the appropriate titles such as Ms, Mrs, Mr etc rather than first names. The salutation may open with ‘Dear’ or more formally with just the word ‘To’.
  2. Write the full name or title of the person to whom the letter is addressed. If you do not know the specific name of the party with whom your proxy will be dealing, write ‘To whom it may concern’.
  3. Keep the authorization letter short and precise. Longer letters will include more information that can be interpreted in different ways. Brief letters that specifically address the matter with its little elaboration are less likely to be misinterpreted.
  4. Specify the duties that your representative is authorized to do on your behalf. Make sure your authorization letter concise and precise. You need to give specific details about the authorization you are granting. For example: your representative can authorize a medical procedure, sign legal documents in your absence or withdraw funds from your bank. For example start out the authorization letter with: I ‘insert your full name’ hereby authorize ‘insert proxy full name’ to release to ‘insert the organization that will receive your medical records’ the following medical information from my personal medical records. Then list the medical information.
  5. Give very specific details of the authorization. If the letter is about your medical information, include your medical insurance number and claim the information. If you need assistance regarding a legal matter, include the case number. For financial matters, include the applicable account information.
  6. Date for the authorization is another important part of authorization letters. Specify when this authorization is in effect. Give the beginning and ending dates. For example: you might write the proxy has authorization to make medical decisions for my child ‘from September 1st, 2015 to September 1st, 2016’. In some cases you are may be unsure about the dates, such as you are authorizing in case of emergency, for this type of authorization specify a length of time. For example: you might write ‘In the event of emergency the proxy has the authorization to act on my behalf for 30 days’.

Give the reason of authorization:

  1. Explain why you need a representative to act on your behalf. The explanation might indicate that you are ill, out of town or may be able to reach for certain period of time.

Restrictions on authorization:

  1. You may also want to identify the areas that you are not authorizing. For example: you might say that the proxy or representative is not allowed to use your medical information for another purpose than specified in the letter or you might say that the proxy is not allowed to make certain financial decisions on your behalf without prior written consent.

Conclude the letter:

  1. Finish up the letter with closing words such as ‘Sincerely’.
  2. Leave 4 blank lines which is where you will put you hand written signatures and then type your full name.

Finalizing the letter:

  1. Format the letter properly. A letter of authorization is a business letter and should be formal in format. Standard business letters use a blog format. The body should be single spaced and there should not be any indentation of the paragraphs. Instead a blank line between salutation and the first paragraph as well as between paragraphs.
  2. Find a witness or notary. A witness is someone who will observe you while signing the authorization letter. This ensures that you are not in fact the person giving the authorization. In some instances, it is a good idea to notarize your letter by the notary. This person should not be any named in the letter.
  3. Print out the letter and sign it with blue or black ink. You may choose to include date next to your signature. If so, write the date you signed the document. Have your witness sign and date the letter.
  4. Give the original letter to the proxy. In most cases, the proxy will retain the letter so that he/she will have proper documentation of the authority granted. The proxy may need to present the letter to the immigration officials, for example, if he is travelling internationally with your child.
  5. Keep a copy of the letter. Make sure to retain a copy of letter of your letters. You may need to present them if any questions arise regarding the authorization you have given to proxy.

Given below are different types of authentication letters that would definitely help you to chose the best according to your need.

Authorization letter Template

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