If you intend on travelling or working abroad, you may be required to give legal evidence of your criminal record by providing an apostille stamp on your DBS certificate.

At Notary.co.uk, our team of professional and expert notaries can assist you with authenticating your certificate.

Find out more about the DBS certificate and our process for legalising this document.


Jump to…

  1. What Is A DBS Certificate?
  2. Types of DBS Checks
  3. Why You Might Need an Apostille For a DBS Certificate
  4. What Information Is Required When Applying For An Apostille Certificate On A DBS Certificate?
  5. Process to Notarise and Apostille a DBS Certificate

What Is A DBS Certificate?

The Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) in the UK run checks to inspect an individual’s criminal record. The services issue certificates to confirm to employers if a candidate is suitable to work with vulnerable groups of people in professions such as teaching, childcare, social work and healthcare.

Types of DBS Checks

Depending on the type of job you are applying for, there are four different types of a DBS check:

  • Basic DBS check
  • Standard DBS check
  • Enhanced DBS check
  • Enhanced DBS with list check

Why You Might Need an Apostille For a DBS Certificate

To prove that you do not have a criminal record, your DBS certificate may require an apostille stamp for one of the following reasons:

  • If you intend to work abroad
  • To apply for a visa
  • For legal purposes 

DBS certificates will require notarisation by a notary public before they are submitted to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in the UK for an apostille certificate. 

An apostille certificate is used to authenticate a notary’s verification of a DBS certificate. The apostille certificate provides reassurance to foreign authorities that the DBS certificate is an authentic document.

The Hague Apostille Convention in 1961 introduced apostille stamps as a form of legalisation for different types of documents such as DBS certificates. Apostille certificates are accepted by over 120 member countries of the Hague Apostille Convention.

If sending a DBS certificate to a country which is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, the notarised DBS certificate will need to be first apostilled and then legalised by the Embassy of the country it is going to be used in. Find out more information about individual countries on our Country Requirements List.

What Information Is Required When Applying For An Apostille Certificate On A DBS Certificate?

A DBS certificate will be issued as a physical original without a signature from an official of the issuing authority.  As it does not have a signature, it will need to be notarised before it can be apostilled.

When using our apostille service you will need to provide us with the following:

  1. An original DBS certificate
  2. A notarised original DBS certificate

If you provide us with an original DBS certificate that has not been notarised, our notaries will complete the notarisation for you.

If you have already had the original DBS certificate notarised, we will submit it directly to the FCDO for you.

Process to Notarise and Apostille a DBS Certificate

To obtain an apostille, you will need to submit your DBS certificate to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Legalisation Office. 

There are two Legalisation Office counters – one in London (Premium Service) and one in Milton Keynes (Standard Service). We offer a premium same-day apostille service for urgent matters and standard 3-5 working day apostille service if you are not in a rush.

Notary.co.uk can assist you with our fast and cost-effective services and walk you through every step of the process:

  1. Contact us and tell us what you need.  We will ask you to complete our online Client Registration Form and explain how we will complete the identification and verification process.
  2. You can book an appointment to deliver the original Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate to us or post it to our London Victoria office.
  3. We will then have the document certified and/or apostilled at either FCDO location. If you need consular legalisation, we will also complete that process for you.
  4. Once this has been completed, we will scan the document with the apostille certificate and return the document back to you. We can also arrange to send the document to a third party if needed.

If you need your DBS certificate notarised or issued with an apostille or consular legalisation, we’ll handle all the steps for you.

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