An apostille is certification issued under the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (also known as the Hague Apostille Convention).

It is an internationally recognised certification confirming the signature and/or seal of the public official who issued or certified the document.

We offer two apostille services. With our Premium service get your document apostilled on the same day (within 5 hours) or next day. On our Standard service get your document apostilled within 3-5 working days.

Jump to…

  1. Do I need notarisation?
  2. Check your document
  3. Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need notarisation?

Start by checking your document. It may need notarisation first.

NOTARISATION REQUIRED

  • Most documents will need to be notarised before they can be apostilled;
  • Common documents include affidavits, declarations, powers of attorney, board resolutions, Companies House documentation, passports, proofs of address, degree and educational certificates;
  • Find out more about notarisation.

NOTARISATION NOT REQUIRED

  • Already certified by UK notary public/solicitor;
  • Documents issued by a UK government department or agency (eg. HMRC, ACRO, Companies House) which have a wet-ink signature;
  • Original documents apostilled in a British overseas territory (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctica Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands)
  • Original documents apostilled in a Crown dependency (Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man)

Check your document

We notarise many types of documents and can provide different types of certification to meet your needs.

The most popular documents we see are powers of attorneys, passports, educational certificates and Companies House documentation. However there are many other documents we see on a regular basis and are familiar with.

If your document is not listed and you are unsure if we can help, email us at info@notary.co.uk and we will be happy to confirm.

Note: not all documents need an apostille

  • Check with whoever is requesting the document
  • Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, Canada and South Africa recognise UK notarised documents without an apostille.
  • If in doubt check our – Country Requirements List or Contact Us.

Select your apostille service

Premium service

Same day Next day
  • Receive document by 11:30 AM;
  • Document complete by 16:30 PM
  • Receive after 11:30 AM;
  • Document complete by 15:00 PM

Document submitted to Legalisation Office in London.

Standard service

  • Completed within 3-5 working days

Document submitted to Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes.

FAQS

  • What does an apostille look like?

    The apostille itself is a printed certificate. It is attached to the notarial certificate or document itself. The text “Apostille” is written at the top of the printed certificate, followed by the text ”Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961”. According to Article 4 of the Hague Apostille Convention, the apostille is not valid if not written in French.

  • Who can issue an apostille in the UK?

    An apostille can only be issued by a competent authority. A competent authority is designated by the UK government.

    In the UK, the only competent authority is the Legalisation Office of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (known as the FCDO for short).

    There are two Legalisation Offices in the UK –in London and Milton Keynes.

  • Can I apostille a document in a foreign language?

    A document not in English will need to be notarised first. Once it has been notarised, the FCDO can apostille it.

  • Can I apply for an apostille myself?

    Yes. You can post your document to the FCDO Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes, or if you are a registered business you can register with the London office.

  • Why did the FCDO reject my document?

    The FCDO can reject documents for many reasons. Some common examples include if the document has not been certified correctly, the person signing the document is not registered at the FCDO, the certification and document don’t match, the name of the person signing is illegible and there’s no signature on passport.

  • Why are the FCDO taking so long to apostille my document?

    Delays can occur if the FCDO has to query your document. For example if they don’t have the signature of the public official who issued the document on file and they need to contact them to obtain it.

  • How can I verify an apostille?

    The apostille will contain a unique apostille number. This can be verified by going to https://www.gov.uk/verify-apostille.

Get in touch

Attach a file

Allowed file formats are .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .pdf, .doc, .docx
(max. file size is 2mb)