As technology advances and we move into a digital age it appears an increasing number of documents are now issued electronically. Over recent years a number of organisations, in particular government departments have shown the biggest shift. This includes HMRC, Companies House and Courts issuing documents electronically. The dilemma when legalising documents is the apostille is physically attached to the document. So the questions is how can the apostille be issued to an electronic document?
Traditionally court documents were issued with a red or black ink stamp on the document. Alternatively they would contain the signature of a Judge or a Grant of Probate document can include an embossed court seal. Some documents are still issued in this format, however, a large number of court documents are now issued with a digitally generated court seal. In this case documents must be certified by a Solicitor or Notary Public before the apostille can be issued. Order and apostille for your court documents here.
All documents issued by HMRC such as letters of residence, or tax calculations were historically signed and stamped by an officer at HMRC. With the introduction of online tax filing HRMC have started to issue a variety of documents electronically with computer generated signatures and stamps. To issue the apostille the documents require certification from a Solicitor or Notary Public. We can legalise your HMRC document with the apostille certificate.
Companies House is the government organisation responsible for recording a variety of information for UK companies. As a result they have a vast data base of documents which are available to the general public to access in electronic format.
If a company requires a document from their filing history legalised with the apostille the documents can be downloaded from the public register, certified by a Solicitor or Notary Public and then issued with the apostille certificate. Our company document legalisation service includes solcitor certification and the apostille certificate.
It is not just government organisations who are transitioning to electronically issued documents. It is now common practice for P60 documents to be issued electronically by employers. Some Universities have even introduced online secure portals for students to access documents electronically.
With this shift towards issuing documents in an electronic format there has been discussions regarding the possibility of issuing electronic apostille certificates. Although this is in the early stages of the discussion it is possible in 10 or 15 years documents will not only be issued electronically but they will also be legalised using electronic methods.