Legalisations and Apostilles
Legalisation is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a UK public document is genuine. It does not authenticate the content of the document. Legalisation is usually required by foreign authorities before they will allow a UK document to be used for official purposes in their country. If an apostille certificate is also required then an Apostille Certificate (typically an A5 size piece of paper) is attached to the reverse side of the document it has been issued to. It must follow a strict format and contain specific information such as the country of issue, date of issue and details relating to the person or authority that has signed or sealed the document.
In the service of legalising documents by apostille we often hear people refer to the service as notarisation. This is often a simple mistake and customers simply need an apostille so that their documents are legalised for use in another country. Legalisation of a document is the issue of an apostille so that the document may be used in an official capacity in another country. Notarisation refers to a Notary Public signing a document.
Whilst many documents that are issued with the apostille have been ‘notarised’ before the document is legalised it is not usually necessary. A large number of documents can be issued with the apostille without a lawyer, solicitor or notary signing them. The majority of documents that do need to be signed can simply be signed by a solicitor. There are a few exceptions where a Notary Public must sign the documents and a solicitor’s signature will not be sufficient. This is normally when a notary witnesses the signature of another individual.
If the document you need legalising clearly refers to a Notary Public signing the document then either you will need to find a local notary for assistance or we can arrange for a notary to attend you.
If you would like to enquire about our full legalisation and apostilling service or wish to enquiry about notarisation of a document click here to send us an email and one of our team will contact you to discuss your requirements and confirm our fees.