Fixed prices and discounts:

  • Our solicitors offer a full range of certifications
  • Solicitor certification starts from £35 per document
  • Certifications completed the same day or the next day
  • Discount for 3 or more documents

Sometimes, a solicitor must confirm that a document is genuine. This is especially true if the document that needs an official international stamp (an “apostille”) is just a copy of the original.

Our document certification process is easy and straightforward:

  • Bring your original document(s).
  • We will create copies of your original document(s).
  • We’ll certify the photocopies by stamping and signing them, verifying they are true copies of the original.

 
How long is the document certification process?

Usually, certifying documents takes about 5 to 10 minutes. But if you have several documents, it might take longer.

Please note, solicitors, are not always in the office. A solicitor is usually in the office Tuesday and Thursday mornings – but this is not guaranteed. Calling ahead is advisable. 

Visit our office:

1st Floor, 3 Orchard Place, Westminster, London, SW1H 0BF. We are open 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday. Out-of-hours can be arranged by appointment.

Besides, solicitors who else can certify documents in the UK?

Public officials can sign documents but not certify ‘copies.’

Please note that any public official that signs a public document must have their signature registered with the FCDO if an apostille certificate is thought.

Below is a list of the officials who can certify documents for an apostille process to begin:

Types of solicitor certifications governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Here’s a look at the different types of certifications by a solicitor:

How should a document be certified?

For a document to be certified, it must follow specific certification criteria that solicitors must adhere to when certifying documents for apostille purposes.

When a notary public or solicitor puts their signature, they must:

  • Possess a practising certificate that is valid
  • Sign the document in the UK
  • Indicate their action in the process. i.e., witnessing, certifying a copy, confirming as original, etc.
  • Use their signature and not the company’s signature
  • Indicate the certification date
  • Indicate their name as well as the address of their company
  • Must ensure the signature is in the original ink. It is not suitable to use copy or digital signatures.

Which documents can be certified by a solicitor?

All documents can be certified.

The solicitor only needs to go through the document, after which they will indicate their reason for certifying it and then sign on it. Here are some document examples a solicitor can certify:

  • ID documents, driving licences, passports etc

  • All educational documents

  • Certificates of birth, death, and marriage
  • Government, court & hospital letters
  • Utility bills and bank statements

  • Business and personal documents

  • Documents from UK Crown Dependencies

  • Translated documents

  • And many, many more

*The above list is not exhaustive.

The type of document and the reason for its certification will determine which certification will be added to it.

In most cases, a document will simply be certified as an original or a copy. In addition, the solicitor will indicate ‘witnessed by’ or ‘signed in my presence’ for signature witnessing. This confirms that they saw the document.

It is important to ensure that the certification of documents is done correctly.

Why is the certification of documents necessary?

Document certification, particularly when done by a UK solicitor, serves several critical purposes in the context of legalising documents with a UK Apostille certificate:

Validity and authenticity: Certifying a document verifies its authenticity, ensuring that the document in question is not a forgery and was indeed issued by the claimed source. This is particularly important in legal and financial matters where the authenticity of documents can have significant implications.

Prevent fraud and misuse: Certified documents can help prevent fraud and misuse by ensuring that only valid and authentic documents are used in legal proceedings, financial transactions, and other important matters.

Legal requirement: In the context of the UK, it’s a legal requirement for certain types of documents to be certified by a solicitor before they can be legalised with an Apostille.

International recognition: An Apostille certificate is used to legalise a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention. Once a document is legalised with an Apostille, it’s officially recognised in all countries that are part of the Hague Convention. The certification of the document is often the first step in this legalisation process.

This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

[1] Solicitors Regulation Authority
https://www.sra.org.uk/

[2] Hague Apostille Convention
https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/specialised-sections/apostille

[3] Certifying a document
https://www.gov.uk/certifying-a-document

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