The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has recently contacted all of its Legalisation subscribers to provide Legalisation guidance. In an electronic communication the FCO provided very useful Legalisation guidance and a useful reminder for Notary Public practices in London. The guidance is supplied to ensure documents presented to the FCO for Legalisation by Apostille are not rejected. The FCO guidance is summarised below:
Apostille Legalisation Guidance
When you notarise a document, a Notary Public must:
- State the reason for notarisation. For example, “I certify this to be a true copy of the original document” or “signed before me”… Simply signing the document is not enough for legalisation purposes. Always state why the Notary Public is signing and stamping the document!
- Sign the Notary Publics own name, not that of the Notaries Practice.
- Include the date the Notary signed and stamped the document.
- Remember to include your stamp (including address, contact details) and your Notarial Seal – also remember your embossed seal.
- If a London Notary is issuing a separate notarial sheet, this must be permanently attached to the document. The public document attached must be mentioned in the notarial certificate. The documents must also be properly bound – we understand the FCO has rejected a number of times bundles of documents that were only stapled together – although sometimes stapled documents do go through. An rivetted permanent eyelet is the minimum requirement for Notarised documents.
Legalisation of Original Douments
We understand the other reasons why the FCO rejects documents received from notaries is that the Notarised Documents have attachments that are not allowed. For example, the FCO will NOT allow photocopies of the following documents:
- Any General Register Office document (Birth, Marriage, Death, Adoption certificates)
- Any Criminal Record certificate (ACPO, Disclosure Scotland)
- Any medical certificate where the original was not signed by the actual doctor (ie not ‘pp’d)
We have a very good working relationship with the FCO and arrange for documents to be legalised by Apostille on a daily basis. Please contact us for a quote.