What is the Apostille Certificate?

The definition of the apostille is the authentication of a document for use in another country.

apostille certificateThe apostille certificate confirms the signature, seal or stamp on a UK document to be genuine so that it will be accepted when presented in another country outside of the UK.

The actual certificate is a piece of paper approximately 15cms square. It is permanently glued to another document and then an embossing mechanism, often called the apostille seal or apostille stamp, is used to emboss the document with a government crest.

The apostille certificate contains ten points-

1. Country of issue
2. Who has signed the document
3. The capacity in which the person signed the document
4. Details of any seal on the document
5. Place of issue
6. Date of issue
7. Issuing authority
8. Apostille Certificate number
9. Stamp of issuing authority
10. Signature of representative of issuing authority

For example a typical apostille attached to a document witnessed by a solicitor may state the following-

1. Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
2. Has been signed by: J Smith
3. Acting in the capacity of Solicitor
4. Bears the Seal/stamp of (this may be blank if a seal or stamp are not used)
5. At London
6. 5 January 2011
7. By Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
8. Number I987654
9. Stamp (The embossing stamp is applied here)
10. Signature: (The issuing officer’s signature is applied here)

This is just an example apostille and not an extract from a genuine document. Your apostille should contain ten points but not all may be completed depending on who issued the document.

The image below includes a watermark. You can also view a PDF version here

sample apostille certificate

sample apostille certificate