We legalise many birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates that are required for use outside of the UK. The apostille is attached to the back of the original document or you can provide an ‘official’ registry copy of the document. Either is accepted once the apostille has been applied.
When ordering an apostille for a birth, marriage or death certificate the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will only place this on the original documents or Registry Office official replacements. It is not possible to legalise a photocopy even if the copy is certified by a UK solicitor or notary public.
There are several reasons why some customers cannot, or do not want to, send the original document to us and may need a replacement certificate ordering.
One of the most common reasons for not having the original legalised is that customers do not want the apostille certificate attaching to the original document. We understand that there is often great sentimental value attached to these documents. The apostille is a square piece of paper approximately 15cm x 15 cm (the certificate) that is physically glued to the back of the document, it is then embossed with a seal and some customers prefer to keep the document in its original condition.
In addition, we appreciate that you may be reluctant to send your document through the post and may prefer to keep the original document in your safe possession.
Other reasons why you may not be able to legalise the original document is that these may be overseas or have previously been lost. We regularly talk to clients that have sent the document overseas or a family member has the original. Alternatively, in some cases people may have misplaced documents or these could be damaged and they may prefer to have a fresh copy legalised.
When ordering a replacement certificate there are two different options available based on the speed of processing. The quicker service is normally completed in around 2 days whilst the slower options takes about 2 weeks. These times are subject to change depending on the GRO.
We assist many customers every year by ordering a replacement certificate and then legalising the document with the apostille. Letting us obtain the copy document saves time and postage costs sending the document to us.