Apostille service summary:
  • We need the original death certificate
  • Post or hand-deliver (and collect) certificates.
  • 10-12 day service from £79 per document
  • 3-4 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.

For use outside the UK, an apostille is required for death certificates and possible legalisation of wills and other probate documents for foreign authorities.

We provide apostilles for all UK registrar-issued death certificates, covering England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

How to order:

Step one:

IMPORTANT: A photocopy of a death certificate can not be used for an apostille!

Originals do not need to be certified by a solicitor or a notary.

Step two:

Contact our office.

  • In which country will your certificate be used?
  • Does the death certificate need translation?
  • How soon do you need the apostille?

When we have all the information, the team will assess your enquiry and give you a personalised and detailed quotation.

If you accept the quotation, we will send an invoice to be paid, and the process of getting an apostille for the death certificate starts.

Step three:

As soon as the death certificate has been apostilled, we will send you a scanned copy via email to inform you that the process has been completed successfully and your certificate is on its way or ready to be collected.

If you are not collecting your apostilled certificate from our London office – we will provide you with the tracking number the courier gave.

How much does it cost?

For personal documents, prices are as follows:

  • 10-12 day apostille service costs £79
  • 3-4 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 business days.

Option two: 3 to 4 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.

Why is an apostille for a death certificate needed?

You may be asked to get an apostille if you need to use the death certificate in other countries. The apostille certificate will verify the death of a person to the requesting authority in another country. Having a verified document enables you to deal with a person’s assets or bank accounts that are located outside of your own country.

Registering a death overseas with an apostille

In some instances, you may need to register a person’s death overseas. For example, if a person was not born in the UK or held dual citizenship.

Or you may have to register the death of a foreign citizen with overseas authorities. All these examples will require an apostille for documents to validate the death certificate. [3]

Example of what UK death certificates look like
Example of what UK death certificates look like (image credits: see references)

Is a death certificate required by law?

Yes, the registration of a person’s death is a legal requirement in the UK, and it is a criminal offence not to register a death. You need to register a death so that you can legally dispose of the remains (Funeral Burial) for inheritance matters and government administrative purposes. [4]

Who can order a death certificate?

A relative can request a death certificate. This is also the person that registers the death in the UK. Any of the following individuals may also register the death if a relative is not available:

  • Someone who was there at the time of death
  • The administrator from the hospital (if the person died in the hospital)
  • Someone in command of the funeral arrangements

How long does it take to obtain a death certificate?

Death certificates are usually sent 15 days after you register. In case you wish to have it sooner, you will be required to pay £35 for priority service, and in this case, the death certificate will be sent the following day. [5]

How much does a death certificate cost?

A death certificate costs £11. Registering someone’s death is free, but each copy of the death certificate is charged. [5]

How many death certificates are required?

The number of death certificates you’ll need depends on your circumstances. For example, if the estate is particularly complicated, with assets held by numerous financial institutions, obtaining many death certificates might help expedite the probate procedure.

Please note that: Most financial institutions will only accept UK government-issued death certificates – or copies certified by a solicitor or notary public.

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.

[1] Correct a death registration
https://www.gov.uk/correcting-a-death-registration

[2] General Register Office (GRO)
https://www.gov.uk/general-register-office

[3] Register a death
https://www.gov.uk/register-a-death

[4] Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/1-2/20

[5] Order a death certificate
https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate

Image credits:

Annette Carell – Death Certificate (1967).jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annette_Carell#/media/File:Annette_Carell_-_Death_Certificate_(1967).jpg

Death Certificate of Evelyn Beatrice Hall.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Death_Certificate_of_Evelyn_Beatrice_Hall.jpg

Death certificate of Thomas Alexander McBean stating ‘ Atrophy from Albuminuria ’ as a cause of death (Crown copyright, with permission).
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Death-certi-fi-cate-of-Thomas-Alexander-McBean-stating-Atrophy-from-Albuminuria-as-a_fig3_236659243