Getting Your Documents Certified/ Notarised

In this article:

What are certified documents?

Certifying a document means the document is being confirmed as a true copy of the original: this is signed and dated by a professional person.

Who can certify documents?

The following professional person or authority can certify documents:

  • Post office
  • Bank or building society official
  • Official councillor 
  • Minister of religion 
  • Dentist
  • Chartered accountant 
  • Solicitor or Notary 
  • Teacher or lecturer 
  • Local Town Hall 
  • Doctor

The following persons  cannot certify documents:

  • Those related to you 
  • Living at the same address; or
  • In a relationship with you

What should a certified document look like?

You will need to take the photocopied document and the original and ask the professional person or authority to certify the copy by:

  1. Writing: "Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me" on the document 
  2. Signing and dating the document
  3. Printing their name under the signature
  4. Adding their occupation, address and telephone number 
  5. Stamp the document with their personal or professional stamp


    Please Note: The certification must be present on the actual document that has been scanned to be validated successfully. Please see the image below for a visual representation.

What are notarised documents?

Notarised documents are similar to certified ones however they will be signed and dated by a notary public (This may be called something different depending on the country you are in).

A notary is a person authorised to perform certain legal formalities, especially to draw up or certify contracts, deeds, and other documents for use in other jurisdictions.

Some example of notary publics are:

  • Embassies
  • Solicitors registered as a notary public

You may be able to locate a notary near you using one of the following links:
Find a Public Notary in the UK
Find a Public Notary in the EU

Check whether your documents will need to be notarised or certified

UK and EU residents

Both of your proof of ID and proof of residential address documents must be certified and be accompanied by the relevant official stamp and signature from the certified person.

Non-UK and Non-EU residents

If you live outside both the UK and EU, your proof of ID and proof of residential address documents must be notarised by a Public Notary and accompanied by the relevant official stamp and signature from the notarised person.

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