Interested in certifying a document? Such as getting a certified copy of a passport, power of attorney, or marriage certificate?
Here’s everything you need to know about how to get a document certified, alongside the cost of certifying documents with a UK solicitor.
Why is certification of documents needed?
Certifying documents means you can provide a certified true copy of your passport or important personal documents, without having to hand over your original. You wouldn’t want to risk losing an original copy of your will, birth or marriage certificate for example.
A certified document means that a professional has checked that it is the same as your original copy of the document. You may need a certified true copy of a personal document for official or commercial reasons, or to apply for a mortgage or bank account.
What does getting documents certified involve?
There are several different types of certification depending on the document and what actually needs to be certified.
1. Getting a signature certified on an original document
You may have a document which you need to sign, on which your signature needs to be ‘certified.’ In this instance, you need to sign the document in front of a person who can verify your identity and certify that you signed the document in front of them.
2. Getting a certified true copy of an original document
Alternatively you may have an original document, such as a passport, drivers licence, power of attorney, birth of marriage certificate, utility bill or degree certificate; of which you need to provide a ‘certified’ copy. In this instance, you need to take the original document and a copy of it to a person who can certify that the copy is a true copy of the original. Then you don’t have to hand over your original.
3. Getting a certification that a document is authentic
Another possibility is that you have an original document and you need someone to certify that the information on that document is true or that the document is authentic. This could apply to degree certificates, police certificates, employment contracts or letters, GP letters or reports, accounts, P60s and pension letters. You may need to get an original document certified for an application.
Who can certify documents in London and the UK?
This is a difficult question to answer. Different countries and end-users have different requirements for getting documents certified.
As a general rule, if the document is to be used in the UK, then often certification by a UK registered solicitor is sufficient.
Occasionally, certification by an accountant, doctor, or even by the Post Office is also acceptable, but you should always check with the end-user of the documents before choosing these options. We offer certification services at a very competitive price for London.
If the document is to be used abroad, it will often require certification by a notary, rather than by a solicitor or accountant.
Notaries are different from solicitors in that they are specialised in the preparation, authentication, and certification of documents to be used abroad. If you need to send a certified copy of a passport or marriage certificate abroad, we can help with the process.
What does it cost to certify documents with a solicitor?
The costs vary depending on the document certification that is required. If you are intending to use the documents in the UK and not abroad, then certification by a solicitor, accountant or doctor is likely to be cheaper than certification by a notary public.
As an indication, our fee to notarise a copy of a utility bill, bank statement or drivers licence is normally £20 + VAT, whilst a copy of the ID page of a passport would be £30 + VAT. Where we are certifying signatures on a document, fees start from £40 + VAT and where we are verifying the authenticity of an original document like a degree certificate, prices normally start from £50 + VAT.
How do I get a document certified, such as a copy of my passport?
If you need a copy of an original document certified as a true copy, then you will need to provide the certifier with the original document and a copy of it so that they can compare the two. This could apply to getting a certified copy of a passport or marriage certificate.
If you need your signature on a document certified, you must sign the document in front of the person who will be certifying your signature. You must also provide an original photographic ID (we usually insist on a passport or a full UK driving licence).
If you need an original document certified as authentic, you need to provide the certifier with the original document. They can then carry out necessary checks to verify the authenticity of the document. In some cases this can involve contacting the document issuer.
How can MSC Notaries help with certifying documents?
Certification of documents is often important if you are sending documents abroad. We can help with getting documents certified, alongside offering a variety of notary services such as witnessing signatures, alongside further legalisation and apostille services.
We can certify your documents at our London office. If you are planning to send a certified document to a country outside the Commonwealth, or to a country outside the Hague Convention, you need a few extra steps before it’s ready to send abroad.
It can save you time and stress to do the whole certification, notarisation and legalisation process with MSC Notaries.
Find out more about certifying documents by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 907 2699.