Electronic Notarisation, also known as e-Notarisation or e-Notary, is the process of notarising documents with an electronic signature.

Documents which have been e-Notarised will often also need an e-Apostille before being accepted internationally.

An electronic Apostille, or e-Apostille for short, is a digital apostille certificate issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) confirming the electronic signature of the notary public.  We offer both e-Notarisation and e-Apostille services.

Obtaining an e-Notarisation and e-Apostille is a convenient and fast alternative to traditional notarisation and apostille services as it reduces processing times and costs associated with sending documents.

However, as it is a new and developing service, there are two important steps you must take before proceeding:

  1. Check your document can be e-notarised and e-apostilled.
  2. Check if it will be accepted internationally. E-Notarisation and e-Apostille will not be suitable in all circumstances.

Jump to…

  1. Types of electronic signature
  2. Which documents can’t be e-Notarised or e-Apostilled?
  3. Are e-Notary and e-Apostille certificates accepted internationally?
  4. e-Notary
  5. e-Apostille
  6. Get Your Documents Notarised or Apostille Wherever You Are in the UK
  7. Check your document
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

Types of electronic signature

Our notaries will e-Notarise your document using either an:

  • Advanced Electronic Signature (AES)
  • Qualified Electronic Signature (QES)

Our e-Notary electronic signatures meet the industry standard requirements set out in Regulation (EU) 910/2014 (eIDAS) as incorporated into UK law including any amendment or re-enactment.

We do not use Simple Electronic Signatures (SES) for e-Notarisation. The FCDO will only issue an e-Apostille on a document that has been notarised using either an Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) or a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES).

Which documents can’t be e-Notarised or e-Apostilled?

Certain documents cannot be e-Notarised or e-Apostilled. These include:

The above documents are not suitable for e-Notary or e-Apostille services as the organisations that issue these documents do not currently allow electronic copies to be notarised or legalised. Some of the documents include physical security features that must be viewed in their original format.

We can e-Notarise and e-Apostille most other documents, but please contact us for clarification.

Under English law, there is no express prohibition against witnessing deeds (e.g. powers of attorney) or administering oaths and declarations remotely using electronic signatures. However, in the absence of positive authority, the law is not clear whether it is acceptable.

We, therefore, do not recommend using remote electronic signatures to witness deeds or administer oaths and declarations in case the notarised document will be deemed invalid.

Are e-Notary and e-Apostille certificates accepted internationally?

Under international agreement, countries signed up to the Hague Apostille Convention should theoretically accept e-Notary and e-Apostille certificates.

However, in practice, there may be occasions when the intended recipient rejects an e-Notarisation or an e-Apostille. For example, they may not accept a digital version of the document that has been e-Notarised or e-Apostilled.

You should always check the following points with the intended recipient in the receiving jurisdiction:

  • If they will accept digital documents with e-Notary and/or e-Apostille certificates.
  • If they require separate e-Notary or e-Apostille certificates for each document (if you have multiple documents).

You should also make them aware that e-Notary and e-Apostille certificates are only valid in digital form, and there will be no physical document.

It is important to check these points to avoid wasting money and time. We do not accept liability if your e-Notarised and e-Apostilled document is rejected in the receiving jurisdiction.


If you require e-Notarisation, you must inform us at the outset as the notarisation procedure differs from traditional notarisation.

e-Notarisation involves:

1. Verifying the document, information, or signature.

For example:

  • For certified copies, we will need to see the original documents.
  • For any electronically issued document, we must check how and from where you obtained the document.
  • Companies House documentation requires us to verify the documents online.
  • If signing a document, we will need to verify your identity, signature, and your capacity, free will and understanding to sign the document.

In many instances, it will be necessary to carry out a videoconferencing call to carry out the verification.

2. Issuing a digital notarial certificate with an electronic signature.

We will issue a notarial certificate using either an Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) or Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) as a digital PDF. This can be verified using Adobe Acrobat Reader and can be submitted to the FCDO to obtain an e-Apostille.


Once we have e-Notarised your document we can submit it to the FCDO to be e-Apostilled. The current processing time at the FCDO is 2 working days.

The e-Apostille was introduced by the FCDO in late 2022 following a successful trial-run, as part of a wider strategy to modernise and digitise its services. As a new service, it is still not widely accepted internationally, so you should always carry out the checks outlined above before proceeding with an e-Apostille.

Currently, no Consulates or High Commissions accept e-Apostilles for legalisation. You should therefore choose traditional notarisation and fast apostille services if you need further consular legalisation.

Get Your Documents Notarised or Apostille Wherever You Are in the UK

With our e-notary and e-apostille services, you can have your documents ready quickly without the need to meet at our offices. Whether you are in central London, Cambridge, Manchester, or any other city in the UK, our dedicated team will ensure a seamless service tailored to meet your needs. Skip the in-person meetings and trust us to expedite the process, ensuring your documents hold legal weight on a global scale.

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 attorney, passports, educational certificates and Companies House documentation. However, there are many other types we see regularly 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.


  • What are the identification requirements?

    We must adhere to the same strict identification requirements as traditional notarisation. We will comply with relevant anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legislation and guidance, and sanctions on individuals, entities, and states from time to time imposed by His Majesty’s Government.

    We will request any identification documentation needed to comply with these requirements, and if we are unable to identify the signatory satisfactorily will not be able to complete the e-Notarisation.

  • What is an electronic signature?

    An electronic signature is a method of signing digitally. There are three types of electronic signatures:

    • Simple Electronic Signature (SES)
    • Advanced Electronic Signature (AES)
    • Qualified Electronic Signature (QES)
  • What is a 'Simple' electronic signature?

    A “Simple” Electronic Signature is the most basic form of electronic signature. It refers to any method of applying an electronic signature, such as a typed name or digital reproduction of a signature, to a digital document. It requires no identity verification, encryption, or authentication, and as such can be susceptible to fraud.

  • What is an Advanced Electronic Signature (AES)?

    An Advanced Electronic Signature is an electronic signature which is additionally:

    • Uniquely linked to and capable of identifying the signatory.
    • Created to allow the signatory to retain control.
    • Able to detect any subsequent change of data to the linked document.

    This is a more robust type of electronic signature that utilises public key infrastructure (PKI) to generate a digital certificate to accompany the e-signature.

  • What is a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES)?

    A qualified electronic signature is an advanced electronic signature which is additionally:

    • Created by a qualified signature creation device (QSCD).
    • Based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.
    • An equivalent to a handwritten signature.

    A QES is the most secure and fraud-resistant type of electronic signature. It contains all the security measures used in AES, plus additional forms of identity authentication, such as verification through a Qualified Trust Service Provider.

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