How it works:

  • To get an apostille, we need the original ACRO certificate.
  • Post or hand-deliver (and collect) ACRO certificates.
  • 5-7 day service from £79 per document
  • 2-3 days and starts from £87 per document
  • 24-hour service from £97 per document

Prices are per document and include the apostille certificate, all fees, and VAT.

You can post the original to us or deliver it and collect it in person at our office in Westminster, London.

Here are quick ways to place an order:

The order process – what to expect:

Note that only original ACRO certificates can be submitted for an apostille.

To start the order, we need the following details from you:

  • What type of ACRO do you have (ACRO types ↓)
  • Let us know about delivery and returning the ACRO.
  • Which service do you need (2-3 days / or next day)
  • Any additional information (translation, attestation, etc.)

Once we have the information, our team can give you a detailed quotation, and if you accept it, we’ll take care of everything.

When your ACRO police certificate apostille is ready, we’ll notify you and email a scanned copy for your records.

You can either collect the apostilled certificate from our office or have it returned by DHL. We’ll also provide the DHL tracking number if not collected in person.

How much does an apostille for an ACRO cost?

For personal documents, prices are as follows:

  • 5-7 day apostille service costs £79
  • 2-3 day apostille service starts from £87.
  • 1 day (next business day) service costs £97

The price includes our fees, FCDO fees, and VAT. Business documents incur an additional processing fee.

There could be additional costs, depending on another service you choose and how many documents you wish to apostille. Additional cost examples are:

  • Translations start from £65
  • Notarisation by notary public (+ £96)
  • Return delivery costs (+ £12)
  • Embassy legalisation (from + £75)

How long does it take to get an apostille?

There are 4 options for getting an apostille.

Option one: 10-12 days:

Your documents are “posted” to the FCDO in Milton Keynes and then posted back to our office – or your address. This process usually takes about 10-12 days.

Option two: 2 to 3 days:

  • If documents arrive by 10:30 am, it will take 2 days
  • If documents arrive after 10:30 am, then it will take 3 days
  • Documents are submitted and collected in person

Option three: 1 day (next business day)

  • Documents must arrive before 10:30 am for the next-day service.
  • Documents can be collected around 3:30 pm the next day.
  • Documents are submitted and collected in person

Option four: e-Apostille 1 to 2 days 

Electronic apostilles are usually completed within 24 hours but can take two working days, depending on the FCDO’s workload.

Delivery and return options

How will the documents be delivered to our office?

  • Delivered in person. (Mon to Fri 9 am to 5 pm)
  • Delivered by post/courier.
  • Posted directly from acro.police.uk (*)

How should apostilled documents be returned?

  • Collected in person (Mon to Fri 9 am to 5 pm)

  • International shipping (DHL, 2-3 days)
  • Returned with DHL (UK next day delivery)

(*) You can order a new ACRO certificate from acro.police.uk and have it shipped directly to our office.

Payment options

We accept payment via major credit and debit cards and bank transfers.

Please note that all orders must be paid in full before we can return apostilled documents. For account enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Payment-options

Notarising an ACRO police certificate

Sometimes the ACRO police certificate needs to be notarised. For example, authorities in Portugal and Cyprus request that your police certificate is notarised for certain applications.

In those cases, our notary will notarise the original ACRO certificate before we get the apostille certificate.

Solicitor certification

Avoid having a solicitor sign your ACRO police certificate. If a solicitor signs it, the apostille certificate will be issued based on their signature, not the public official who signed the ACRO.

This legalisation process is generally not accepted by most countries. When requesting the legaliation of your police check, the apostille should be issued for the public official’s signature on the ACRO.

ACRO types and processing requirements

  • No Trace: The person has no criminal record or related issues.

  • No Live Trace: The person has a criminal record, but it’s not shown on the certificate due to court decisions.

  • Trace: The person has a criminal record. The information is publicly available.
  • Further Information Stepped Down: The person has a criminal record, but only some details are on the certificate.

All UK police certificates are issued as hard copies and never issued electronically!

Note that an electronic apostille (e-apostille) is unavailable for ACRO or other police certificates.

Screenshot of a mock ACRO Police Certificate, displaying personal information, photo, and criminal record check outcome.
ACRO background check (Example only)

Will my ACRO certificate need translation?

An ACRO certificate may need to be translated. The requesting authority usually requests a translation, so it’s best to check with them.

For example, when applying for a Spanish visa, the authorities often ask that the UK ACRO be translated into Spanish. Spain requires ‘sworn’ translations, meaning an accredited Spanish translator must do the translation.

We can email a copy of the apostilled ACRO, but we must receive the original translation from Spain. Depending on the courier service used, this usually takes five working days but can take longer.

Different background checks that we apostille are:

  • National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
  • Criminal Records Office (ACRO)
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

  • Basic Disclosure
  • Enhanced Disclosure
  • Disclosure Scotland
  • NIS Certificates
  • Subject Access Reports
  • Criminal Record Check (Northern Ireland)
  • Police Clearance Certificates (Guernsey)
  • Police Letters

Is ACRO the same as DBS?

An ACRO Police Certificate is not the same as a report from the government’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The ACRO police certificate is designed for use in foreign countries.

Organisations mainly use the DBS in the UK to help them to decide whether an individual is suitable for certain kinds of work, especially work involving children or vulnerable adults.

Both give details of criminal records (including “spent” convictions), but an “enhanced” DBS check also includes pending cases and ongoing investigations [5].

Normally only an ACRO apostille is requested by foreign countries.

Other information

  • We do not apply for an ACRO certificate on your behalf.
  • If you need embassy attention, please let us know.
  • ACRO stands for Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office.
  • You can get an ACRO even if you have not been to the UK
  • To get a UK apostille, we need the original ACRO certificate
  • Copies can not be drocessed
  • Sometimes ACRO’s need to be notarised

This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources like government information & data, original reporting and interviews with industry experts. Reputable publishers are also sourced and cited where appropriate to support the facts within our articles.

ACRO Criminal Records Office
https://www.acro.police.uk/About-Us

Criminal Record Check (Northern Ireland)
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/apply-online-basic-check

Police Clearance Certificates (Guernsey)
https://www.guernsey.police.uk/righttoinfo