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Legalisation of documents for Overseas Weddings

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We recommend that wherever possible documents should be brought to our public counter for a same day service – especially if you are working to a tight deadline.

No ID is required and you do not need to attend personally, anyone can present the documents on your behalf.

If you choose to post your documents to us, please note that postal applications take approximately 15 WORKING DAYS to process from the time they arrive in our office. It will also take some time for the application to be posted back to you, so please allow at least 4 weeks for the whole process. Additional delays may also occur where there is a query with a signature or document and during particularly busy times of the year (April-Sept).

We recommend that postal applications are sent by recorded or special delivery. We also recommend that they are returned to you by special or recorded delivery. For more information on this please see the APPLICATIONS BY POST section.

More information on postal applications

We cannot advise which documents you need to get married overseas as this is different for each country. This information must be obtained from the authorities in the country where you are getting married or from your Travel Agent.

Typical UK documents we legalise for overseas weddings are:
  • UK Birth Certificates – Originals or Certified Copies issued by the General Register Office or British Diplomatic Missions overseas, or photocopies if they have been certified by a UK solicitor or notary public confirming them to be true copies of the original documents
  • UK Certificates of No Impediment – Originals signed by a local registrar, or photocopies if they have been certified by a UK solicitor or notary public as being true copies of the original documents. More information on obtaining Certificates of No Impediment and using them abroad can be found at: Certificates of No Impediment or Nulla Ostas
  • UK Divorce Documents – Originals stamped by a UK County Court, or photocopies if they have been certified by a UK solicitor or notary public as being true copies of the original documents.
  • UK Statutory Declarations – Originals signed by the individual(s) concerned and the signatures witnessed by a UK notary public or solicitor. The solicitor should certify this clearly on the document
  • UK Passports – Photocopies of the biodata (information) page which have been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor confiming them to be true copies of the original documents.
  • UK Change of Name Deed Poll – All Change of Name Deed Polls must be signed by a UK notary public or solicitor confirming them to be true and genuine or true photocopies.
Solicitors must sign documents in their own personal signature, not a company signature.They should also print their name underneath and the name of their law firm.

If you choose to legalise photocopies instead of original documents, you should check with the authorities in the country where you are getting married to ensure that this is acceptable to them.

If you have already married overseas and you wish to deposit your foreign (not Commonwealth) marriage or civil partnership certificate with the UK General Registrar Office please visit the following webpages:

Deposits of Foreign Marriage Documents
Deposits of Foreign and Commonwealth Civil Partnership Documents

Once the foreign marriage or Civil Partnership certificate has been deposited with the UK General Registry Office (GRO) a certified copy can be issued by the GRO which can then be legalised. 
 
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