What Is An Apostille?

In simple terms, apostille services validate your documents and make them legally recognised in foreign countries by attaching a special certificate called an apostille.

A full list of member countries that are signed up to the Hague Convention can be found here .

The apostille stamps are issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), the purpose of this apostille stamp is that it verifies the authenticity of the signature on a document. Such as a Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate and Birth Certificate. It can also be used to verify a document which has been certified by a Notary Public; such as educational certificates and legal documents. 

This is particularly useful when a document is being sent to another country and the receiver has no sure-fire way of knowing if the document is authentic or not, but once they see the apostille stamp which has the HM Royal Seal they can be sure, and your document can be legalised. 

When Would I Need An Apostille Stamp?

There are many situations in which an apostille stamp would be needed; all of which are when a document is being sent abroad to a Hague convention member country. Listed below are some examples of where an apostille certificate is necessary:

  • Birth/Death certificate
  • Educational certificates issued in the UK
  • Granting Power of Attorney (PoA) to a member of another country
  • Marriage certificates
  • Statutory Declarations
  • You are moving abroad and your new employer requires certified copies of degree certificates

All uses are all based on the idea that any document originating from another country which has been certified by an official such as a registrar, solicitor or notary public needs to be verified. I.E. The signature of the official needs to be confirmed by a government office, which is where an apostille issued by the HM Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office would be utilised as bona fide verification.

Why Use South London Notaries?

South London Notaries are a “one stop shop” when it comes to the document verification and legalisation procedure and we excel in terms of speed, convenience and most importantly price. We are able to offer both notary certification as well as apostille services in a package deal. We also have a range of packages that offer fast processing times as the standard service with the FCDO can take 3-4 weeks if not more. At South London Notaries we recognise that your apostille needs may require a quicker turnaround.