Certifying documents during the Covid-19 pandemic

Some legal restrictions on how documents can be certified and how identification can be confirmed have been temporarily adapted at this time. Please get in touch if you have any questions about how this might affect you.

Certifying Documents

We offer a full range of legal document certification services. This can be helpful if you’re undergoing a legal application process, making a Lasting Power of Attorney, moving abroad or are required to submit a statuary declaration or affidavit.

How can we help with certifying documents?

Please note that if you use any of these services it is vitally important to provide correct information and valid identification documents. If you dishonestly provide information or make a statement that you know is, or might be, untrue or misleading, and intend doing so to make a gain for yourself or another person, you may commit the offence of fraud under section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006. The maximum penalty for this is 10 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.

Certified Copies

You may sometimes need to submit a certified copy of an important document rather than the original. To do this, you will need to take the original document to a solicitor who will sign and date a photocopy to confirm it is a true and exact copy of the original.

This can include:

  • Passports
  • Driving licences
  • Birth, death or marriage certificates
  • Letters from government departments or hospitals
  • Bank or building society statements
  • Utility bills

We are also able to certify photographs to confirm that they are a true likeness of the person pictured.

Our certified copy document service is charged at a fixed fee and is offered remotely.

Frequently asked questions

Countersigning Passports

In order to countersign a passport application and photo, a professional signatory must have known the applicant (or the adult signing on behalf of a child under 16) for a minimum of two years. This is to ensure they are able to personally identify you (or the child you are signing on behalf of).

If one of our solicitors has known you for more than two years, they will be able to countersign a passport application and photo for you.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer this service if we’ve known you for less than two years.

Frequently asked questions

Certifying Lasting Powers of Attorney

There are two reasons you might need a certified document relating to a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

Certifying an LPA in order to start acting on it

If you have been named as an attorney in a Lasting Power of Attorney and you need to start acting on the donor’s behalf, you will need to obtain at least one certified copy of the LPA.

You will then be able to show the certified document to local authorities, hospital trusts, financial institutions and other bodies as evidence that you are legally entitled to act on behalf of the individual who made the LPA.

Only certain professionals are able to certify Lasting Powers of Attorney. Our solicitors are fully qualified to do this and provide this service for a fixed fee.

Obtaining a certificate when an LPA is made

We can also act as a certificate provider for a person who is making an LPA.

When you make an LPA, you will be required to submit a certificate completed by an independent professional such as a solicitor, registered health practitioner or social worker.

The certificate provider must confirm that you had full mental capacity at the time of making your LPA, that you fully understood the implications of making it, and that you weren’t being put under pressure to do so.

Frequently asked questions

Statutory Declarations & Affidavits

In certain financial or legal circumstances, you may be required to provide a statutory declaration or affidavit.

This could be in order to:

  • Legally change your name.
  • Access a bank account belonging to a person who has died without a Grant of Probate.
  • Confirm nationality, residency or marital status when other documentary evidence is unavailable.

Our solicitors have been appointed by the Chief Justice as Commissioners for Oaths, which means that we are fully qualified to authenticate statutory declarations and affidavits.

Statutory declarations and affidavits are written statements of fact that are witnessed and signed by a solicitor or other qualified professional. In order to make one, you’ll need to recite a declaration of truth then sign to confirm the statement you have made is correct. We will then sign, date and state our qualification to authenticate the document.

Frequently asked questions

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

If you need to use a document abroad, such as a birth, marriage or death certificate, we can arrange for these documents to be legalised with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

When a document is legalised, it confirms to officials in other countries that the document has been issued by a UK public official.

We are able to manage this process on your behalf.

Frequently asked questions

Affidavit of Parental Consent – South Africa

If you wish to take your child(ren) to South Africa without their other parent, you will need to have an Affidavit of Parental Consent with you when you travel.

This is a legal document which allows one parent of a child to take that child out of the UK and into South Africa without the presence of the second parent.

We can help you to prepare, complete and correctly execute the form of affidavit that is required for you and your child or children to travel to South Africa.

Not all countries require extra documentation for you to be able to travel with your child or children. If you have any concerns about travelling with your child without their second parent, the consulate or embassy of the country you are travelling to will usually be able to advise you.

We can help with the paperwork for any country that requires you to have an affidavit or similar documentation in order to travel with your child or children.

Frequently asked questions

ID1 & ID5 Forms

ID1 forms are sometimes needed to verify your identity during a conveyancing transaction before your application can be lodged with the Land Registry.

This might be because you are dealing with a conveyancing transaction without the help of a solicitor. This can be required in situations such as a transfer of property or land, the discharge of a mortgage or because you want to change your personal details with the Land Registry (such as your name or address).

The Land Registry will ask for you to fill in an ID1 form, (which can be downloaded for free from the Land Registry website). Before you can submit this to the Land Registry, you will need a solicitor to check your identity and sign the ID1 form to confirm they have done this.

We offer a fixed fee for this service.

Frequently asked questions

Get the legal advice you need

Dealing with legal issues can be confusing and stressful. We understand this, and we’re always on hand to untangle jargon and offer support.

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