In an increasingly globalised world, the demand for individuals to work, study, or live abroad continues to grow. Crossing international borders often requires thorough background checks and documentation, including police disclosure records. Ensuring the authenticity and legal compliance of these documents is crucial. 

Documents to be used abroad will often need to be notarised, apostilled and/or attested by a consulate. The exact requirements depend on what the document is and what country it will be used in.

Jump to…

  1. What Are Police Disclosure Documents?
  2. The Significance of Notarised or Legalised Police Disclosure Documents
  3. The Process of Notarising Police Disclosure Documents
  4. Choose Trusted Notary Services

What Are Police Disclosure Documents?

Police disclosure documents are official records provided by law enforcement agencies. They typically encompass an individual’s criminal record, including details of past convictions, cautions, warnings, or reprimands. These documents are essential for various purposes, including employment, visa applications, immigration, or volunteering opportunities, as they help assess an individual’s suitability and trustworthiness.

Police disclosure documents may include:

  1. Basic Disclosure: Provides details of unspent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  2. Standard Disclosure: Offers more comprehensive information, including both spent and unspent convictions, as well as cautions, reprimands, and warnings.
  3. Enhanced Disclosure: Contains additional information relevant to the specific role, including details that might not be disclosed in a standard check.

The two most common police certificates are issued by the ACRO Criminal Records Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service. These are commonly referred to as an ACRO certificate and a DBS certificate.

The Significance of Notarised or Legalised Police Disclosure Documents

The importance of notarising or legalising police disclosure documents cannot be overstated, especially when they are required for international purposes. Notarisation or legalisation ensures the authenticity and legality of the document, making it acceptable in a foreign jurisdiction. Here’s why it’s crucial:

  1. Legal Verification: Notarisation or legalisation provides legal verification that the document is genuine and accurate. It assures the receiving party that the content is true and unaltered.
  2. International Acceptance: When travelling, working, or studying abroad, foreign authorities may require notarised or legalised police disclosure documents to assess your eligibility or trustworthiness.

The Process of Notarising Police Disclosure Documents


Your exact requirement will depend on what type of police certificate you have, and what country you will be using the document in.



We can notarise both an original ACRO certificate and a DBS certificate. We aren’t allowed to photocopy either document, so the notary will notarise the original certificate and confirm it is authentic.

Certain countries only require notarisation. Most countries, however, will also require legalisation. Legalisation may involve an apostille by the FCDO, and/or attestation at an Embassy. 

If you have an ACRO certificate and also require legalisation, we don’t need to notarise your document.

We do not offer e-notarisation services for police certificates. This is because we cannot photocopy these documents, and the FCDO will not e-apostille them.


Apostille by the FCDO

An apostille is issued by the Legalisation Office of the FCDO.  The FCDO will confirm either the notaries signature or the ACRO official who signed your certificate.

As an ACRO police certificate contains a wet ink signature from an ACRO official, it can be apostilled directly by the FCDO. This is because the ACRO official is a government official. If you have been given an ACRO certificate without a wet ink signature, this is likely to be a mistake, so you should request a new certificate.

As a DBS certificate does not contain a wet ink signature from an official at DBS, it must be notarised first, and the FCDO will then confirm the signature and seal of the notary public.

We can apostille your document on either our Premium Service or Standard Service.  


Consular Legalisation

For certain countries, you may also require a consular legalisation of your police certificate. We can handle the entire application at the consulate, including personally submitting and collecting the police certificate. Your police certificate will need to be apostilled before it can be legalised at a consulate.

Choose Trusted Notary Services

When it comes to notarising or legalising police disclosure documents, choosing a reputable and experienced Notary Public is paramount. At, we specialise in notarising and legalising a wide range of documents, including police disclosure documents. Our expert team ensures that your documents meet all legal requirements and serve their intended purpose, both in the UK and abroad. 

Contact us today to initiate the notarisation process for your police disclosure documents and secure your international pursuits.

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