Service summary:
  1. We must receive the original (hard copy) of the birth certificate
  2. You can bring it to our office in person or send it by mail/courier
  3. We legalise your birth certificate with the apostille
  4. Your apostilled certificate is ready to be collected or couriered

Getting an apostille for a UK birth certificate can be achieved via the official FCDO website or via a document legalisation agency.

Getting the apostille yourself via the FCDO can take up to 20 days.

Using an FCDO registered agency can reduce the time it takes to get an apostille for a birth registration to 24 hours.

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:

Check that your birth certificate is not damaged, laminated or altered in any way; otherwise, it cannot be apostilled.

Step three:

Contact our office. When emailing, please provide the following information:

[or complete this form]

  • How many documents need an apostille?
  • What type of birth certificate needs the apostille?
  • In which country will your certificate be used?
  • Does the birth certificate need translating?
  • 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 send an invoice to be paid, and the process of getting an apostille for your birth certificate starts.

Please note, to get an apostille attached, you must post the birth certificate to our central London office by recorded delivery.

Step four:

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 DHL tracking number given by 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?

The cost of a birth certificate apostille starts from £79.

Other costs will depend on what service you choose (standard or same-day service), if you also need embassy attestation, and what return delivery method has been chosen.

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.

Specimen England and Wales Long Birth Certificate
Specimen England and Wales Long Birth Certificate

Image credit:

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 a certificate on the original documents to show that the signatures are genuine and issue an apostille certificate to that effect.

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.

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)

[2] Order a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate