Apostille service overview:
  • We need the original (or official copy) 
  • Post or hand-deliver (and collect) 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.

To get a UK birth certificate apostilled, we need the original or an official replacement copy from the local council or General Registry Office (GRO).

How to order:  

Step one:

Check your birth certificate:

  • Do you have the ‘long form’ birth certificate?
  • Do you have the original birth certificate – or –
  • Do you have an official copy from the GRO?

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

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

Step two:

Contact our office.

  • What type of birth certificate needs the apostille?
  • In which country will your certificate be used?
  • Does the birth 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 are 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 your birth certificate starts.

Step three:

As soon as your birth 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:

  • 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.

Birth certificates can be rejected for the apostille!

If the FCDO does not recognise the signature on your birth certificate, the apostille certificate will not be issued.

This may happen if the birth certificate is very old or very new. Registrars or other authorised persons signing the birth certificate must be registered with the FCDO database.

Unfortunately, there is no way to check the signature before submission.

If the signature is not recognised and the FCDO rejects your certificates, the next steps would be:

  • Contact the local registrar’s office and ask the person that signed the certificate to register their signature with the FCDO. If it is a very old certificate, that person may no longer work there, so this might not be an option. How long the process takes will depend on the local registrar’s response.
  • Order a new official replacement copy from the GRO website. Getting a new certificate takes around 4 working days and costs start at £11. [2]
  • Our solicitor could certify the birth certificate and then get the apostille. BUT, this means that the FCDO will issue the apostille for the solicitor’s signature, not the signature on your birth certificate. Not all authorities accept this, so you must confirm that this would be ok.

What are the different types of UK birth certificates?

There are types of birth certificates in the UK, which include the following:

  • Short form birth certificate: This contains limited information about your child.
  • Long-form birth certificate: This contains more information, including the parents details.
  • Adoption certificate: This is issued when you adopt a child. Once the adoption is finalised by the courts. It serves as proof of the child’s identity and effectively substitutes their original birth certificate.
  • Regimental birth certificate: Soldiers’ or their families’ births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials are all recorded in Regimental Registers.
  • Chaplains Births: The Army Chaplains’ department records births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials at overseas bases.

Which type of birth certificate should be apostilled?

Not every type of birth certificate can be apostilled. Apostilles are only given out on long-form birth certificates, also known as extended certificates.

These documents show the full name of both parents and have the signature of a UK public official in charge of registration. They can be obtained from local government offices, hospitals, or vital records departments.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes. In some cases, a short-form birth certificate can receive an apostille if it is accompanied by an official letter from a vital records department confirming the authenticity of the document. This letter must be printed on official stationery and signed by relevant authorities.

Why did I receive a short certificate rather than a longer one?

You received a short certificate when you first registered the birth of your child in the UK. There are two main types of birth certificates:

  • The short-form certificate that only shows details of the child, and

  • The long-form certificate is also known as a ‘Full’ birth certificate which includes details of both the child as well as the parents.

The long-form birth certificate shows other details, such as the exact place of birth and the father’s occupation. Recently, they have also included the mother’s occupation and the person’s address that registered the birth.

When you first register your child’s birth, you will be issued with a copy of the short birth certificate, and if you wish to have the long one, it will be issued upon request, but at an additional cost.

What does a UK birth certificate look like?

Most UK birth certificates are printed in black and green or black and red.

Who has the authority to apostille a birth certificate in the UK?

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office – FCDO is the only office that issues apostilles. They affix the certificate on the original documents to show that the signatures are genuine and issue an apostille certificate.

How to get a copy of your birth certificate

To get a copy of your birth certificate and other documents such as death certificates, marriage certificates, or civil partnership certificates in England or Wales, you will have to register with the General Register Office – GRO’s website [2].

You will need to have your debit or credit card, which takes around ten minutes.

Is it possible to legalise birth certificates from countries other than the United Kingdom?

No. Birth certificates issued in countries other than the United Kingdom cannot be legalised here in the UK. The only method to have them legalised is to do it in the country in which they were issued.

Exception:

If a foreign embassy in London issues the birth certificate (in English), then the birth certificate issued by the embassy in London can be apostilled if it is solicitor certified. Note that the apostille will be issued against the solicitor’s signature, not the public official from the embassy.

Why would you need an apostille for a birth certificate?

A birth certificate apostille may be requested when registering a birth in another nation, confirming your identification, dual citizenship applications in the UK or abroad, getting married in another country or for inheritance purposes.

Our expert staff and professional consultants can apostille UK birth certificates in one or two days – or same-day emergency service if required.

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] General Register Office (GRO)
https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/

[2] Order a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate
https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate