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1 February 2022

Wondering if you need an apostille? Here’s your guide.

Knowing why and when you need an apostille is important if you have business or personal interests in a foreign country. Here’s how we can help.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Apostilles, and when they’re needed, can confuse many. However, knowing which documents need certifying is crucial when presenting them in a foreign country.

If you’re unsure about apostilles, Woodcock Notary Public can help. 

What is an apostille?

In principle, an apostille is a legal certification that makes a document from one country valid in another. They are a widely recognised method for validating legal documents in a different country.

Several legal documents may need an apostille in different circumstances. The type of documents that may require one include: 

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Driving licences
  • Bank statements
  • Tax returns


The apostille itself is a single-page document attached to the document in question. It shows the viewer that the document has been certified/notified. 
 

Wondering if you need an apostille?

There are several reasons why you might need an apostille document. They are necessary to use an official document in a foreign country. Some examples of when you would need an apostille are:

  • International marriages
  • Moving to a different country 
  • Applications for studying abroad 
  • Applications for residency/citizenship abroad
 
For an apostille to be valid, both of the countries concerned need to be part of the 1961 Hague Convention. The full list of the countries that are part of the agreement can be found here.
 

How do you get something notarised?

If you want a document notarised, you need to get it seen by a qualified lawyer. This is the only way to Notarise a document.  

You need to present your document in a good condition. Doing this allows the notarisation process to be done without the need for correction. Below is a list of things we recommend you do before bringing your document to be notarised:

  • Make sure the document is 100% complete
  • Provide official ID (passport/driving license)
  • Make sure the name on your document matches your ID

How long does it take?

Processing your document can take ten working days if you use the standard service. Your documents are returned quicker if you use a premium service. Please be aware that processing times do not include postage and packing. 

READY FOR ASSISTANCE?

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.