Birth Certificates

What is attestation?

Also known as legalisation, this process consists of a series of steps which takes a document issued in one country and makes it legally recognised in another. The amount of steps and the procedure itself will vary dependent on several factors, including where it was issued and it's destination country. Things can get complicated quickly!

We can help you with the attestation of any birth certificate issued anywhere within the UK and Ireland. This covers the following registration areas:

  • England & Wales (General Register Office - GRO)
  • Scotland (General Register Office for Scotland)
  • Northern Ireland (General Register Office for N. Ireland)
  • Eire - Southern Ireland (General Register Office - Ireland) 
  • Overseas UK registrations
  • All Local Register Offices*
To order the attestation of a birth certificate online, start by Choosing a Country

How do I submit a birth certificate for attestation?

To attest a UK birth certificate for use overseas, you must always present the original document. Photocopies of a birth certificate, even if certified by a solicitor or Notary Public, will not be accepted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This is due to this document type being issued by the government and must carry an official and original General Registry Office (GRO) seal.

When attesting a birth certificate, we would always recommend presenting a long-form birth certificate. This is the full version of the document which contains the parental information, as opposed to the short form certificate which only contains information of the child. The long form certificate is the most widely recognised and accepted version of this document type and to avoid any delays or re-processing, we always recommend you obtain this version if you do not already posess it.

The long form documents can vary in appearance dependent on when it was issued and in which area of the UK. Some can be produced in landscape or portrait format, whilst some can be reproduced in black or red. As long as it carries the official GRO seal, they are all valid documents.

Please Note - There can be sometimes be problems with original birth certificates that have been issued more than 20 years ago. This can happen if there are difficulties locating a sample signature of the registrar who originally signed the birth certificate. If time delays are likely to cause significant delays, you would be advised to have a duplicate of the document issued and have the attestation process carried out on that version.

We offer an official duplication service should you need it for a replacement birth certificate.  

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