Service summary:
  • To get an apostille, we need the original ACRO certificate
  • No certification by a solicitor or notary is required
  • Post or hand deliver certificates (even outside office hours)
  • We do the rest. We get the apostille and return your certificate
  • The process takes 1-2 days and starts from £79

Getting an apostille for an ACRO certificate is straightforward.

There are two main ways of getting an apostille for a UK ACRO Police Certificate.

Individuals can apply directly to the government’s website, the FCDO, for an apostille or entrust the task to an agency registered with the FCDO, like us.

Getting an apostille for yourself is demanding and can take up to 20 days.

As an experienced agency, we can reduce this time to 1-2 days. 24 hours or same-day service is also available if it is an emergency or you need your ACRO legalised fast.

How to order:

If you have decided that you would like us to obtain an apostille for your ACRO certificate for you, these are the steps to take:

Step one:

Check that the ACRO police certificate has not been damaged or altered in any way.

A damaged, laminated or altered police certificate cannot be apostilled.

Step two:

Only the original ACRO certificate is accepted for legalisation.

For this reason, we must receive the original police certificate in our office. You can deliver it in person or post it to us.

An original ACRO police certificate does not need to be certified by a solicitor or notarised by a notary public.

Step three:

Contact our office by email, by telephone or in person.

Please be ready to provide the following information:

  • Is your document an original ACRO police certificate?
  • In which country will your ACRO police certificate be used?
  • Do you need a translation of your ACRO police certificate?
  • How soon do you need the apostille?

When we have this information, our team will be able to give you a detailed, personal quotation. Standard service costs £79 for 2–3-day service.

Final step:

We will notify you as soon as the apostille for your ACRO police certificate is ready.

Your apostilled ACRO certificate can be returned to you by post or collected from our office.

Assuming that you are not collecting your apostilled documents from our London office – we will also provide you with the DHL tracking number as soon as your forms have been given to the courier.

Note that we return documents with DHL (only). DHL return deliveries – both national and international require the following details:

  • A full name
  • Full return address
  • Contact phone number

How much does it cost?

Our price for an ACRO police certificate apostille is £79 for a standard request and includes FCDO fees.

Please inform us of additional requirements when you contact our office (Step three, above).

Call +44 (0) 207 0500 692
Send your enquiry via email

How long does it take to get an apostille for an ACRO police certificate?

Our standard processing time for getting an apostille is 2-3 days.

Here is what 2 to 3 days means:

  • If your documents arrive by 10 am, it will take 2 days to process your documents + next-day return delivery.
  • If your documents arrive after 10 am, then it would take 3 days to apostille your documents + next day return delivery.

An expedited 24-hours service is also available on request.

We also offer a same-day apostille service.

  • Documents must arrive before 10 am for the same-day service.
  • Documents can be collected around 4 pm the same day.

Same-day service assumes you can drop off and collect your documents on the same day at our London office.

If a mailing or courier service is utilised, the same day becomes a 24-hour service.

Read the full same-day apostille service explanation.

How was the ACRO police certificate issued?

Your ACRO must have been issued by the official website.  ACRO police certificates are only issued in hard copy. They are never sent electronically [3].

You can order a replacement from the official website online. Replacements are also sent as hard copies to your address. Both the original and the official replacements can be used to get an apostille.

ACRO certificates cover the whole of the UK (including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), but they are not the same as certificates issued by Disclosure Scotland.

ACRO is not the same as the UK’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, see below).

Police in other British jurisdictions (Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, etc.) can access the same information as UK mainland police from the Police National Computer database.

Police in other British jurisdictions also issues their own certificates.

Although the process for obtaining apostilles for all British police certificates is very similar, this article deals only with obtaining apostilles for UK ACRO police certificates.

How to get an apostille for background checks
ACRO background check (Example only)

Who can request an apostilled ACRO police certificate?

Apostille for police certificates is usually requested by foreign governments, agencies, and other organisations.

Although anyone who has lived or worked in the UK can apply for an ACRO police certificate, especially if they intend to live, work, or settle in another country.

Foreign governments and organisations often require apostilles for police certificates to confirm the authenticity and legal validity of an ACRO police certificate.

Apostilles of police certificates are accepted in all countries that are party to the Hague Convention.

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.

The DBS is mainly used by organisations 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.

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

Will my ACRO certificate need translation?

An ACRO certificate may need to be translated if the country requesting the legalisation of your document is not a native English-speaking country. The requesting authority would usually request a translation, so it’s best to check with them.

Call +44 (0) 207 0500 692
Enquire or order a UK apostille

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

Criminal Record Check (Northern Ireland)

Police Clearance Certificates (Guernsey)