How to Cer­ti­fy a Doc­u­ment in the UK?

Person som arbetar digitalt framför dator
Catrin, UK Solicitor
26/01/2024 ● 5 Minutes
This Aatos art­icle will teach you all about cer­ti­fied doc­u­ments in the UK, in­clud­ing how to cer­ti­fy a copy of a doc­u­ment, en­sur­ing you have the know­ledge to get your papers cer­ti­fied ef­fect­ively.

A Cer­ti­fied Doc­u­ment is a copy of an ori­gin­al doc­u­ment that has been veri­fied as au­then­t­ic by an au­thor­ised pro­fes­sion­al, such as a So­li­citor.

Cer­ti­fic­a­tion in­volves the cer­ti­fier com­par­ing the copy to the ori­gin­al doc­u­ment, then sign­ing and stamp­ing the copy to con­firm it matches the ori­gin­al ex­actly. Cer­ti­fied copies prove the le­git­im­acy of im­port­ant doc­u­ments.

In the UK, So­li­cit­ors and Not­ar­ies are gen­er­ally au­thor­ised to cer­ti­fy doc­u­ments. In some cir­cum­stances gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and banks can also cer­ti­fy doc­u­ments.

⚠️ Note: The body that has re­quested cer­ti­fied copies of your doc­u­ments will usu­ally stip­u­late any par­tic­u­lar re­quire­ments they have as to who is per­mit­ted to cer­ti­fy your doc­u­ments. For ex­ample, they might state that only doc­u­ments cer­ti­fied by a So­li­citor will be ac­cepted. Be sure to check with them first to avoid your doc­u­ments being re­jec­ted later on.

Ex­cit­ing News 👀

Aatos will soon be of­fer­ing an af­ford­able and con­veni­ent online Doc­u­ment Cer­ti­fic­a­tion ser­vice using the latest com­pli­ance tech­no­lo­gy. Our modern plat­form will make cer­ti­fic­a­tions easy, without re­quir­ing in-person meet­ings at a law office. So, keep your eyes peeled for our of­fi­cial launch!

Cer­ti­fied Doc­u­ments Ensure the Valid­ity of the Copy

The cer­ti­fied copies of your doc­u­ments evid­ence the fact that you pos­sess and can leg­ally use the ori­gin­al doc­u­ment. Cer­ti­fied Doc­u­ments are com­monly re­quired for visa ap­plic­a­tions, uni­versity ad­mis­sions, em­ploy­ment, and other legal or of­fi­cial pro­cesses.

For most pur­poses within the UK, cer­ti­fic­a­tions done by a qual­i­fied So­li­citor are ac­cepted, but not­ar­isa­tion is often the re­quired pro­cess needed for doc­u­ments that are going to be used in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Dif­fer­ence between Cer­ti­fied and Not­ar­ised Doc­u­ments

In the UK, cer­ti­fic­a­tion in­volves a qual­i­fied person veri­fy­ing a copy of an ori­gin­al doc­u­ment as ac­cur­ate and true, while not­ar­isa­tion by a Notary Public con­firms the valid­ity of a legal doc­u­ment, often re­quir­ing wit­ness­ing, ad­min­is­ter­ing oaths, and pre­par­ing copies for use abroad.

Ul­ti­mately, Cer­ti­fic­a­tion fo­cuses on the ac­cur­acy of copies, while not­ar­isa­tion in­volves a broader range of legal val­id­a­tions.

At­test­a­tion makes sure your doc­u­ments will be of­fi­cially ac­cepted and trusted every­where.

Read more: Who can Cer­ti­fy Doc­u­ments UK?

How to Cer­ti­fy Doc­u­ments in Prac­tice

Below are the cur­rent steps you need to take to cer­ti­fy doc­u­ments in the UK.

1. Find a Qual­i­fied Cer­ti­fier

The ‘’tra­di­tion­al’’ ap­proach to cer­ti­fy­ing doc­u­ments in­volves loc­at­ing a qual­i­fied Cer­ti­fier. To do this, you will need to identi­fy a pro­fes­sion­al who can leg­ally cer­ti­fy a copy of a doc­u­ment.

In the UK, you can look up So­li­cit­ors and law firms using the of­fi­cial SRA web­site.

2. Pre­pare Your Doc­u­ment and Iden­ti­fic­a­tion

Gather the ori­gin­al doc­u­ment that you need to be cer­ti­fied, as well as clear copies of the ori­gin­al doc­u­ment (de­pend­ing on how may copies you need), as well as a valid form of iden­ti­fic­a­tion (such as a pass­port) to present to the cer­ti­fier.

Be sure to check with the cer­ti­fier the exact doc­u­ments needed before turn­ing up to the meet­ing!

Read more about Cer­ti­fied Copy of a Pass­port

3. Meet the Cer­ti­fier

Book an ap­point­ment with the cer­ti­fier, bring­ing all ne­ces­sary pa­per­work to the meet­ing.

The cer­ti­fier will com­pare the ori­gin­al with its copy to con­firm that the copy of the doc­u­ment is true and ac­cur­ate.

4. The Cer­ti­fic­a­tion

There are no spe­cif­ic rules that apply to the cer­ti­fic­a­tion of doc­u­ments in the same way as there are for the swear­ing of oaths, af­firm­a­tions, and de­clar­a­tions. In fact, the exact re­quire­ments for a copy to be deemed cer­ti­fied are set out by the body that re­quires the cer­ti­fic­a­tion.

For in­stance, they may spe­cify the exact cer­ti­fic­a­tion word­ing that must be used. So, be sure to check with them first and then inform the cer­ti­fier of the re­quire­ments.

If there are no unique or spe­cif­ic re­quire­ments given, the fol­low­ing word­ing is gen­er­ally used when a pho­to­graph­ic ID doc­u­ment (such as a pass­port) is being cer­ti­fied:

‘Cer­ti­fied to be a true copy of the ori­gin­al and a true likeness to [insert name of person] seen by me.’

If the doc­u­ment to be cer­ti­fied does not con­tain a pho­to­graph, for in­stance, a uni­versity tran­script or a util­ity bill, then the word­ing can be ad­apted as fol­lows:

‘Cer­ti­fied to be a true copy of the ori­gin­al seen by me.’

The cer­ti­fier will also add other im­port­ant de­tails in­clud­ing: Their oc­cu­pa­tion, con­tact de­tails, of­fi­cial stamp, sig­na­ture, and the date of the cer­ti­fic­a­tion.

When a copy of a doc­u­ment needs to be cer­ti­fied it is gen­er­ally not ne­ces­sary to cer­ti­fy every page (as­sum­ing the pages of the doc­u­ment are all to­geth­er in order) and the top page is cer­ti­fied as de­scribed above. However, it is best to check with the body re­questing the cer­ti­fied doc­u­ment from you, as they may have par­tic­u­lar re­quire­ments.

💡 The cer­ti­fied doc­u­ment holds the same au­thor­ity as the ori­gin­al, making it fit for a range of legal pur­poses.

Read more: What is Apos­tille?

Cer­ti­fy­ing Doc­u­ments Online: The Future of Law is here!

The tra­di­tion­al ap­proach to cer­ti­fy­ing doc­u­ments is an ‘’in person’’, for ex­ample in a post office, pro­cess with cer­tain chal­lenges, mean­ing it is not always fit for the modern world.

Find­ing a re­li­able cer­ti­fier takes con­sid­er­able time, re­sources, and effort. You will need to make and wait for an ap­point­ment with a qual­i­fied cer­ti­fier.

Once the ap­point­ment is ar­ranged you will then need to find the office of the cer­ti­fier and attend the meet­ing, which adds to the time cost and in­con­veni­ence of this ap­proach.

Thank­fully, the in­ternet has re­volu­tion­ised legal ser­vices. Online solu­tions now allow you to get your doc­u­ments cer­ti­fied online.

What does this mean? This means that you can now get 'true copies' of ori­gin­al doc­u­ments without need­ing to leave your home or place of work, making the pro­cess more ef­fi­cient and cost-ef­fect­ive.

You may be think­ing but how ex­actly does this work? Well, with the as­sist­ance of cut­ting-edge tech­no­lo­gy (for in­stance, bio­met­ric, pixel, and sig­na­ture ana­lysis) our law­yers can now review, verify, and leg­ally cer­ti­fy your doc­u­ments 100% online and 100% se­curely.

We are almost ready to launch – so watch this space! 👀

The Aatos Dif­fer­ence

Here's why every­one should use Aatos for their online doc­u­ment cer­ti­fic­a­tion needs:

1) Seam­less User Ex­per­i­ence

Cer­ti­fy­ing a doc­u­ment online on our user-friendly plat­form couldn't be easier.

All you will need to do is:

(a) Answer a few simple ques­tions

(b) Verify your iden­tity (on our easy plat­form this step takes just 5 minutes)

(c) Upload your doc­u­ment.

With Aatos, it's ser­i­ously this easy – we offer the most straight­for­ward plat­form the cer­ti­fy doc­u­ments in the UK.

Within one business day you will re­ceive your cer­ti­fied doc­u­ment by email, or, you can even have it posted to your door – the choice is yours.

2) Speedy Turn­around Times

Aatos re­cog­nises the need for speed in our on-demand world.

While some law firms can take weeks to com­plete the cer­ti­fic­a­tion pro­cess, with our online doc­u­ment cer­ti­fic­a­tion ser­vice you have the option to re­ceive your doc­u­ment within 1 business day (using the email option).

Or, you can have the cer­ti­fied doc­u­ment posted to your ad­dress within one to two business days, as we un­der­stand that oc­ca­sion­ally some in­sti­tu­tions may re­quest a hard copy. We offer the fastest turn­around times for remote cer­ti­fic­a­tions on the market!

Our tech-en­abled, remote op­er­a­tion allows for un­matched speed when it comes to cer­ti­fy­ing doc­u­ments online. So, there is no need to wait weeks for an in-person ap­point­ment with a lawyer.

We should still point out that our cer­ti­fic­a­tions are always done by SRA Reg­u­lated So­li­cit­ors (with the as­sist­ance of the latest com­pli­ance tech), so you can rest as­sured that the doc­u­ments cer­ti­fied by Aatos have been cer­ti­fied by a qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­al.

3) Fixed, Fair Pri­cing

Know ex­actly what you'll pay up­front with our fixed fees. There are no sur­prise hourly charges or hidden costs with our af­ford­able legal ser­vices.

We offer the most secure and best value cer­ti­fic­a­tion ser­vice on the market.

4) Se­cur­ity

When you choose to cer­ti­fy doc­u­ments online with our re­volu­tion­ary plat­form, your doc­u­ments and data are safe with us. At Aatos, we pri­or­it­ise se­cur­ity meas­ures - our di­git­al plat­form is GDPR com­pli­ant and we use en­crypted data stor­age for iron­clad se­cur­ity, in com­pli­ance with our legal ob­lig­a­tions. Mean­ing that you can feel at ease trusting us with cer­ti­fy­ing your im­port­ant doc­u­ments.

Aatos is also re­gistered with the In­form­a­tion Com­mis­sion­ers Office (ICO), which is ded­ic­ated to pro­tect­ing the rights of people over their own data.  The ICO over­sees and en­for­ces com­pli­ance with data pro­tec­tion reg­u­la­tions, in­vest­ig­ates data breaches, and provides guid­ance on how to handle per­son­al data re­spons­ibly.

5) Doc­u­ment Flex­ib­il­ity

Don't pay a lawyer hourly just to cer­ti­fy your doc­u­ments. Aatos can pro­fes­sion­ally cer­ti­fy all your doc­u­ments re­motely in minutes (even from the com­fort of your couch!)

Ex­amples of the doc­u­ments we cer­ti­fy in­clude but is not lim­ited to:

• Pass­ports •  Driv­ing Li­cences •  Util­ity Bills •  Bank State­ments •  Com­pany Doc­u­ments •  Uni­versity Cer­ti­fic­ates •  Con­tracts  •  Con­sent To Travel Forms •  VISA Doc­u­ments •  And much more!

6) Global Reach

Aatos breaks through geo­graph­ical bar­ri­ers. You can now get your doc­u­ments cer­ti­fied quickly and cor­rectly re­gardless of where you are based.

Our user-friendly legal plat­form elim­in­ates the need for in-person meet­ings, of­fer­ing legal ser­vices at the touch of a button.

With our ser­vice you are free to cer­ti­fy all your doc­u­ments from wherever you are.

Cer­ti­fy Doc­u­ments Online

With highly af­ford­able fees, cut­ting-edge tech, and un­ri­valled con­veni­ence, Aatos makes online doc­u­ment cer­ti­fic­a­tion easy for every­one, while up­hold­ing the highest pro­fes­sion­al stand­ards.

So, if you want to save yourself pre­cious time, money and stress, be sure to use Aatos to cer­ti­fy your doc­u­ments online.

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