All News Blog Videos

22 June 2021

Woodcock Notary Public explains in this brief guide all you need to know about the FCDO Apostille service.

For countries which are a party to the Hague Convention, the notary’s certificate and seal will require legalisation by the UK government via the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

For countries which are a party to the Hague Convention, the notary’s certificate and seal will require legalisation by the UK government via the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

In the UK, the FCDO are the only official body authorised to issue apostilles. Anyone can apply for a stamp, though the public are only able to do so via their postal service.

If you would like this turned around urgently, you will need to use an Apostille Service through an agent like Woodcock Notary Public who are registered to attend the FCDO in person for same-day processing.

What does an ‘apostille’  mean?

Each country has its own legalisation requirement. The costs of legislation can also vary widely depending on whether an apostille is enough or whether full legalisation at the country’s embassy is also required. 

Many individuals and businesses have had documents returned to them by the receiver requesting that they legalise the document. This wastes time causing potential delays to the purpose of sending the documents and would like waste additional funds through unnecessarily couriering the documents to the receiving jurisdiction before they are fully ready.

Which countries issue apostilles?

For a full list of the member countries, please click here.

Which documents need an UK apostille?

Any documents issued in the UK, being presented overseas, will require an apostille stamp if being used for official purposes. 

This could include:

  • Marriage Certificate Apostille
  • Birth Certificate Apostille
  • Leaving Certificate
  • Police Clearance
  • Registration Certificate
  • Power of Attorney
  • Bona-fide Certificate
  • Medical Certificate
  • Educational Documents.


Some document types must be legalised on the originals such as birth, marriage and death certificates. Other documents such as education documents can usually be processed on a certified copy made by a solicitor.

What is the process to get your documents legalised (apostilled)?

We guarantee the apostille on any UK document by our proven tracking and expert advice.

Our Process

  • Once a document has been notarised, it is usually necessary for the notary’s signature and seal to be certified as genuine by governmental authorities before it can be used overseas. This process is called legalisation.
  • We can offer you either a standard next day service or for the more urgent time sensitive requirements we can provide a same day service.
  • Upon completion by the FCO, we can further process the documents if required via any Chamber of Commerce, Embassy or Consulate and either return the documents to you or we can forward them directly to the client on your behalf. Scanned copies and tracking numbers will be emailed.

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.