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How to Get a Certified Copy of a Document

The certifying professional must write several key notes when certifying a document. This page explains how to certify a document as a true copy of the original.

CERTIFYING DOCUMENTS: You must get it signed and get it dated by a professional person. The signer must be ‘well-respected’.

There are several reasons why you might need to get a certified copy of a document. Common reasons include applying for a bank account or a home mortgage.

In these cases, the institution may ask you to provide documents certified as true copies of the original.

Note: Different rules apply for countersigning passport applications, for passport photos, and for a lasting power of attorney.

Copies of documents that you may need to get certified by a professional include:

Who Can Certify Documents in the UK?

The person certifying documents must be ‘of good standing‘. They should also be well-respected in the local community. Thus, you should ask a professional person such as:

  • Certifying Documents: How to Certify a Document in the United KingdomA councillor or a minister of religion.
  • A chartered accountant, notary, or a solicitor.
  • A dentist, a lecturer, or a teacher.
  • An official working in a bank or building society.

Note: The person who certifies the document should not be:

  • In a relationship with you.
  • Living at the same address as you.
  • Related to you.

Always check what the organisation requires from a certified copy. In some cases, they could have special rules on who can certify a document for them.

How to Certify a Document

You will need to have the original document and at least one photocopy. Take them both when you ask a person to certify the copy. Make sure they add these important notes:

  1. Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me‘ must get written on the document.
  2. The certifying professional must sign and date it.
  3. They must print their name underneath their signature.
  4. They will need to add their occupation, their full address, and a contact telephone number.

Note: It is not uncommon for the person who certifies a document to charge a fee for doing so.

How to Certify a Translation

What if you need a certified translation of a document or a deed? Sometimes they are not written in English (or Welsh). In this case you should ask a professional translation company to confirm in writing on the document:

  • That it is a ‘true and accurate translation of the original document‘.
  • The date that the official document translation services translated the file.
  • The full name and contact details of the translator. It can also be a representative of the translation company.

Certifying Documents: How to Certify a Document in the United Kingdom