An Apostille Stamp is simply a Certificate of Authenticity. Obtaining an Apostille Stamp may sometimes be referred to as Legalisation, or Legalising a Document.
An Apostille is a certificate that is attached to an official legal document to verify that the signatory on your document is genuine and that the person who signed your document is a recognised and authorised person of the organisation that issued the document. Each Apostille is dated, given a unique reference number and registered.
When you present a legal document in a foreign country, it is often difficult for them to determine whether the document is genuine and legal. An Apostille Stamp ensures that your document, issued by the General Register Office in the United Kingdom, is recognised and accepted overseas by the member states of the Hague Convention. These countries validate the document, for example a Birth Certificate, by the authority of the Apostille Stamp rather than the document itself.
When ordering a replacement Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, or Death Certificate through UK Document Services, if you know your certificate needs to be apostilled we can help you with this. Apostilles are processed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, who will certify the validity of your certificate and issue an Apostille Stamp which you can use as proof of authenticity when using your certificate at home or abroad. If you would like us to handle this for you, simply indicate the number of apostilled certificates you need when ordering through our website, and we will take care of everything else.
Here is a list of countries in the Hague Convention which will accept an Apostille Stamp as full legalisation of a document: