Apostille service summary:
  • We need the original DBS certificate
  • Post or hand-deliver certificates to our office
  • Our solicitor (or yours) certifies the DBS certificate
  • 10-12 day service from £98
  • 3-4-day service from £120
  • 1 day (next business day) from £130
  • 1-day e-Apostille from £167

The price includes admin fees, solicitor certification, apostille certificate, FCDO fees, and VAT.

You have two options to get a DBS disclosure apostille in the UK. You can complete the apostille process yourself or hire an experienced apostille agency to take care of the entire process.

Also, consider how quickly you need your DBS apostilled. There is now only one Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes and only registered apostille agents can access the next-day/express services.

Jump to: How much does it cost? | How long does it take?

How to order:

Step one:

Check that your DBS certificates can be legalised.

The FCDO only accepts the original Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) document without a signature from an official of the issuing authority.

All three types of DBS certificates can be legalised:

  • Basic disclosure
  • Standard disclosure
  • Enhanced disclosure

Step two:

Check the requirements for the DBS documents.

All DBS documents must be certified by a UK solicitor or notary public.

Disclosure and barring service are not eligible for the e-apostille.

Step three:

Contact us to place an order.

When emailing, please provide the following information:

  • What country will the DBS be used in?
  • Do you need a translation?
  • How soon do you need the apostille?
  • How will you get your DBS to us? (In person, by mail etc.)
  • How will the legalised DBS be returned? (Collection, courier, etc.).

Once 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 your documents starts.

We will take care of the entire apostille legalisation process for you.

Final step:

We will inform you as soon as the documents are ready to be collected or let you know that they have been posted. Regardless of what return delivery method is chosen (in person, self-addressed envelope, DHL etc.), we will email you a scanned copy of the apostilled DBS check.


How much does it cost?

For personal documents, prices are as follows:

  • 10-12 day service from £98
  • 3-4-day service from £120.
  • 1-day (next business day) from £130
  • 1-day e-Apostille from £167

The price includes admin, solicitor, FCDO, and VAT fees. 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 do DBS certificates need an apostille?

DBS certificate apostille is needed if an overseas authority requests it so that they can confirm that your DBS check is authentic. The apostille process verifies the stamp and signatures on your DBS certificate. It does not verify that it is genuine.

If the requesting country is part of the Apostille Treaty or Treaty of 1961 then the UK FCDO apostille is sufficient proof. If the country is not part of the apostille convention, further legalisation via an embassy or consulate will be required.

Mock-up of disclosure and barring certificate [DBS check)
Mock-up of a DBS certificate / © apostillelondon.com

When does a DBS check need to be translated?

When you need to translate DBS certificates will depend on the requesting authority and country. From experience, the requesting authority will let you know if you must translate your DBS check.

We can assist with obtaining translations of documents if required. Find out more about our certified translation services.

How to legalise DBS checks with an embassy in London?

Legalising (attesting) documents with an embassy in London is usually a three-step process.

  • DBS certificates must be solicitor certified or notarised
  • Certified DBS checks get a apostille certificate attached
  • Third step is attesting (authenticating) the apostilled DBS document with the required embassy

Depending on the country, additional verification steps might be required.

The requesting authority usually informs you of the requirements, but unfortunately, this information is not always provided.

We will check for you what legalisation steps must be completed. But we cannot advise ‘what documents’ you must attest.

You will need to specify what and how many documents need to be legalised.

How to apostille a DBS yourself ? (The DIY approach)

You can, of course, get an apostille for your DBS certificate yourself. We’ll outline the process in a few simple steps for you.

We assume that you have already obtained your DBS certificate from the UK government Disclosure & Barring Service [1]. A DBS check usually takes about 14 days.

When you receive your DBS certificate, you need to find a solicitor near you and get the DBS check certified. Make sure that the solicitor’s signature that you use is registered with the FCDO database; otherwise, your document will be rejected by the Legalisation Office.

Finding a solicitor, making an appointment, attending the appointment, return home. Approximately 4 days.

Then, after solicitor certification, you need to apply for the apostille certificate. You can post your certificate to the Milton Keynes legalisation office or apply online [2].

Issuing the apostille certificate can take up to 20 days.

Please note that DBS checks do not qualify for an e-apostille.

DIY approach summary:

  • Order DBS check (14 days)
  • Solicitor (about 4 days)
  • Apostille application (about 18 days)
  • Total time: 36 days approximately
  • Total savings: about £45

As a registered apostille agent, we can offer:

  • Same day service
  • 24 hour service
  • 2-3 days service

Do I need to come to your office?

It is not necessary to come to our office in person. Your documents can be sent by courier or by post. We recommend using a tracked service if you send your documents by post. We return your documents in the same way.

If it is more convenient for you to come in person, we would be happy to see you. Please let us know when you are coming.

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] UK Government Disclosure & Barring Service
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service

[2] Get your document DBS check legalised
https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised

DBS certificate reprint requirements
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-certificate-reprint-guide/dbs-certificate-reprint-guide