We can legalise most UK documents as long as they bear an original signature, seal or stamp from a UK public organisation or official practising in the UK.
A UK document means that it originated or has been executed in the UK. If a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK is signing a document they should state clearly what exactly it is they are certifying in relation to the document. They must sign in their own name and not use a company signature. They should clearly print their name and their firmís name under the signature.
We can legalise photocopies of certain types of documents as long as they have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being true photocopies. If you want to legalise a certified photocopy of a particular document, and we are able to do this, you should also confirm with the end users of the document to ensure that a certified photocopy is acceptable to them.

Documents we can legalise

UK Educational Documents

All educational documents must be signed by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK before they can be legalised. The notary or solicitor should either confirm that the document is original if that is the case, or a true photocopy. If you are living overseas it may be possible for the British Council in your country to certify the document instead. You should check with the local British Council office to see if they offer this service.

UK birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates

We can only legalise original or certified copies of certificates issued by the General Registry Office (GRO) or local Registry Offices in the UK, or British Diplomatic Missions overseas as per instructions from the GRO.
We can also legalise original death certificates issued by a UK coroner. Translations of these can also be legalised if they have been signed by a UK notary or solicitor practising in the UK. Please note that we are NOT able to legalise photocopies of these documents, even if they have been signed by a UK notary or solicitor practising in the UK or attached to a notarial cover sheet. This is because we have been advised that the General Register Office (GRO) or local Registry Offices are the only designated authorities in the UK who can issue certified copies of these documents.
Contact the GRO or your local Registry Office for more information on obtaining certified copies of these types of certificates which we will be able to legalise.

UK Certificates of No Impediment (CNIs) or "No Trace" letters issued by the GRO

Original CNIs and GRO issued letters confirming that there is no trace of an individual currently being married can be legalised. Please note that we are not able to legalise photocopies of these documents, even if they have been signed by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK or attached to a notarial cover sheet. This is because we have been advised that the General Register Office (GRO) or local Registry Offices are the only designated authorities in the UK who can issue certified copies of these documents. Contact the GRO or your local Registry Office for more information on obtaining certified copies of these types of certificates which we will be able to legalise. We cannot legalise photocopies of these documents under any circumstances

Passports

We cannot legalise original passports of any nationality. Photocopies of the bio data page of British and foreign passports may be legalised if they have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being true photocopies of the original documents.

Change of name deed poll

All change of name deed poll documents (originals as well as copies) must be certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being original or true photocopies, before they can be legalised.

Religious documents

We can legalise the following religious documents as long as they have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK and originated in the UK. The notary public or solicitor should certify original documents as being genuine, and photocopies as being true copies of the original documents:

  • Islamic Marriage and Divorce Certificates issued by UK mosques
  • Jewish Divorce Certificates issued by a Jewish Court
  • Baptismal Certificates of any denomination.

UK court (county court) documents

Original documents issued by UK courts can be legalised. Photocopies of these documents can also be legalised if they have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being true copies of the original documents.

Powers of attorney, wills, affidavits, declarations and notarial acts

Originals of these documents can be legalised if they have been signed in the UK by the individual(s) concerned and the signature(s) witnessed by a UK notary public or solicitor in the UK.
The notary public or solicitor should certify this clearly on the document.

Certificates of incorporation and other documents issued by Companies House

We can legalise originals of these documents only if they have been signed by an official of Companies House. If the originals do not bear an original signature of a Companies House official then they must be certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being original documents. Photocopies of Companies House documents can be legalised if they have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being true copies of the original document.

Export certificates

We can legalise export certificates only if they have been signed by an official of the relevant UK Government Department. Photocopies of export documents may be legalised if a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK has certified them to confirm that they are true copies of the original documents.

Documents from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

Original documents from HMRC can be legalised if they are signed by an HMRC official or a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK. Photocopies of these documents can also be legalised if they have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being true copies of the original document.

National identification Certificates, Association of Chief Police Officer certificates and Disclosure documents

Only original documents issued by the National Identification Service (NIS) and signed by an NIS official can be legalised. We cannot legalise photocopies of these documents under any circumstances.

Original disclosure documents must be signed by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK before they can be legalised. We cannot legalise photocopies of these documents under any circumstances.

Only original documents from the Association Of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) can be legalised and should be signed by an ACPO official. Photocopies of these documents cannot be legalised under any circumstances.

Medical documents

Medical reports and letters issued by UK hospitals and NHS Trusts may be legalised as long as they have been signed by a UK doctor who is registered with the General Medical Council.
Letters concerning non-medical issues, e.g. job references or letters of employment, can be legalised if they are signed by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK confirming them to be true and genuine.

Pet travel scheme

We can legalise documents to export pets overseas. These must be original documents and be signed by a qualified Veterinary Surgeon. Please note that we do not legalise any other documents for pets.

Documents from British Overseas Territories

Documents originating or executed in a British Overseas Territory can only be legalised if they have already been legalised by an official of the Government in the Territory concerned. The British Overseas Territories are:
Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and Dependencies, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Foreign language translations of UK documents

We can legalise translations of UK documents issued or executed in the UK. These documents need to be certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK confirming that they are true translations. Please note that we are not able to legalise documents on the signatures of the translators unless they are also a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK, or a consular official.

Foreign documents

If you have a foreign document which requires legalisation you should contact the relevant Embassy, Consulate or High Commission in the UK for advice.

If you have been advised that your document needs to be appended to a notarial coversheet containing a certification from a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK, we can only legalise the notarial certificate.

Alternatively photocopies of foreign documents can be legalised if they have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK as being true copies of the original document.

Global Choices. Contact information

Global Choices, 146 Omega Works, 4 Roach Road, London E3 2GY, United Kingdom
Tel: (+ 44) 208 533 2777 (UK)
Tel.: (+1) 646 929 4656 (USA)
Fax: (+ 44) 870 330 5955

Online near you: Follow Global Choices UK on twitter Global Choices Facebook page

We are glad to be affiliated and associated with the following organisations:
Find out more about Global Choices affiliations