How to get an apostille for a letter of no trace
  1. For the apostille, we need the original letter of no trace
  2. You can post or hand deliver your certificate of no trace
  3. We get the apostille and return your no trace letter
  4. The process takes 2-3 days and starts from £79

To get an apostille for a Letter of No Trace (LNT),  we need to receive the original document.

Photocopies cannot be processed, although official replacements from the GRO or local registrar’s office are accepted.

You can deliver in person (24 hours) – post or courier the no trace of marriage letter to our office in Westminster, London.

Once we receive the no trace certificates, getting an apostille usually takes 2-3 days, and costs start from £79, including FCDO fees and VAT.

We can return the legalised adoption record via DHL courier (next-day service), or you can collect it in person (24 hours).

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

The full process explained:

If you have any questions, please call 0207 0500 692

Step one:

Make sure your letter of no trace can be legalised with an apostille. You need the original version or an official replacement stamped by the GRO.

Step two:

Contact our office.

When emailing, please provide the following information:

  • How soon do you need the apostille?
  • Do you also require embassy legalisation?
  • How will the adoption certificate be delivered and returned?

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

Suppose you accept the quotation, the process of getting an apostille starts. We will take of everything.

Final step:

As soon as your UK adoption certificate has been apostilled, we will send you a scanned copy via email.

If you are not collecting your apostilled document from our London office – we will provide you with the DHL tracking number given by the courier.

Note that we return documents by DHL courier only. If you want to make other arrangements, please let us know.

How much does it cost?

Getting an apostille for a letter of no trace costs £79. (including our fees, FCDO fees and VAT)

Other costs will depend on additional services you choose if you need embassy attestation and what return delivery method is needed.

Additional cost examples are:

  • Same day or express service (+ £123)
  • UK return delivery costs (+ £20)
  • Notarisation by notary public (+ £90)
  • Embassy Attestation/legalisation (from £75)
  • Translations (from £60)

How long does it take to get an apostille?

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

Here is what 2 to 3 days mean:

  • 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.

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.

Do I have to come to your office?

No, you don’t need to attend our office in Westminster. 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.

You are, of course, welcome to drop the documents off in person. Delivering in person requires that you have an order number. Please make sure you contact our office first.

What is the difference between a letter of no trace and a certificate of no impediment?

The main difference between a Letter of No Trace (LNT) and a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) is a CNI is available to British citizens who wish to get married or enter into a civil partnership. The CNI confirms that there are no objections to the proposed marriage.

A letter of no trace (LNT) is issued by the UK’s General Register Office (GRO) to a foreign national. It confirms that there is no record of the foreign national being married since their arrival in the UK.

Either a CNI or an LNT may be required when a person who is typically resident in the UK wishes to get married or enter into a civil partnership in another country [1].

Getting the CNI or LNT apostilled for use overseas is usually necessary.

When should you get an apostille for a letter of no trace?

You should get an apostille for the LNT (No trace certificate) if a public official, organisation, company, government agency or other authority of a foreign country request it.

Refusing to obtain an apostille will result in your documents not being accepted in the country that requested them. The apostille certificate confirms that the official signature, seal, or stamp on the LNT is genuine.

Must a letter of no trace be certified by a solicitor or notarised to get an apostille?

No. A Letter of no Trace is issued by the General Register Office. Every document issued by the GRO is already a certified copy. No further certification is required by the FCDO to get an apostille [2].

Can a photocopy of an LNT be used to get an apostille?

No. The FCDO cannot apostille a photocopy of a letter of no trace even if a notary public has legalised it. The legalisation office can, however, accept official copies stamped or signed by the GRO itself.

  • Official copy from the GRO = yes can be apostilled

  • Photocopy of the original = no cannot be apostilled

When does an apostille for a letter of no trace expire?

The apostille expires when the underlying letter of no trace expires.

A letter of no trace covers only the time between a foreign national’s arrival in the UK and the date when the letter of no trace was issued.

Technically, therefore, a letter of no trace cannot cover any period of time after the letter of no trace was issued.

The decision to accept an apostilled letter of no trace rests with the person, organisation, foreign government agency or other authority that has requested the letter of no trace.

In practice, most foreign authorities will accept an apostilled LNT for at least three months after the LNT was issued. Many will accept even older LNTs. The decision is entirely at the discretion of the body that made the request.

Always check how recent the LNT must be with the overseas person or organisation that has made the request [3].

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] Ceremony overseas – Certificate of No Impediment’Certificate%20of%20No%20Impediment’%20is%20a%20certificate%20which%20confirms,are%20planning%20a%20ceremony%20abroad.

[2] Contact the General Register Office +44 (0)300 123 1837

[3] Certificate of No Impediment or no trace letter

Application for certificates and no trace divorce letters (Scotland)