What is a Marriage Certificate?
A marriage certificate is issued by an official government office to state that two people are legally married. It can be required for many purposes, such as for spouses opening joint bank accounts, registering a home together, to serve in issues of legitimacy of a child, evidence of any change of the name of a party (if one spouse wishes to take on the other’s surname for example), to serve in divorce proceedings, to track the genealogical history of a person or to serve as a proof of marriage when applying for a spousal visa.
In the UK, copies of marriage certificates are recorded in two registers, one that is retained by the Church office or register office and other by the superintendent registrar of the district where the marriage ceremony takes place. These records are further transferred to the General Register Office (GRO) every quarter, to the Registrar General. Thus, to obtain a copy of your marriage certificate in the UK, you have to register on the GRO website and fill out the online application form. Please note that the GRO is the sole authority to issue this certificate, as well as a civil partnership certificate in certain cases.
Marriage certificate documents need legalisation when they have to be used abroad. For instance, if you wish to sponsor your husband/wife for a spouse visa or family visit visa while you are employed abroad, you will need to legalize your marriage certificate documents. This is mandatory in any situation where you need to prove your marital status to the authorities abroad, such as opening joint bank accounts overseas or purchasing or renting a property outside the UK. Overseas authorities sometimes need legalised marriage certificates to deal with property and assets of a deceased person, for the purposes of transferring them legally to the surviving spouse. Even if you are divorced, you will need to have a marriage certificate apostille, to serve as proof of the dissolved marriage.
Legalisation is completed by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London. The FCO attaches an apostille certificate to the original marriage certificate document, after complete verification. As the UK is a member of the 1961 Hague Convention, public documents, such as marriage certificates, are acceptable in signatory member nations with only the apostille stamp. However, if the destination country is not a member of the convention, the documents will further need attestation through the respective Embassy, located in London.
Some documents need to be attested by a notary public or solicitor in the UK, before they can be apostilled by the FCO.
You need to submit your original marriage certificate for the apostille certification by the FCO. Alternatively, you can also choose to apply for a replacement certificate with the GRO office and get the new copy legalised. The document will be attested by our in-house solicitor, after which it will be submitted to the FCO for the apostille.
Please see the process as below that we follow:
Send Us the
We quality check
The document is
solicitor certified and then
Apostilled 24 hours.
If required, we take the
document to the required
embassy for legalisation
Back to you Domestically
Please use the dropdown menu’s for your document requirement. The pricing and document type will be generated after pressing the button below. Please note that to complete your order you will need to use the dropdown menus per document order. After the pricing table, you will then be taken to our order page. Following this you will be sent to our upload page to upload the documents which you can also complete later.
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A marriage certificate is a standard personal document that requires FCO legalisation, to prove a person’s marital status abroad. The process is essential if you are applying for a spouse visa, family visa or employment visa for travel to another country from the UK. It is also a requirement in legal proceedings, such as granting your spouse the power of attorney to handle your legal and health matters abroad, opening bank accounts with your spouse abroad, applying for international adoptions, or purchasing properties in other countries.
Legalisation of documents has to be completed by the UK FCO, for them to have legal standing in an overseas court of law. Since the UK is a member of the 1961 Hague Convention, apostille legalisation of marriage certificate documents by the FCO is sufficient for other signatory member nations. However, for countries that are not members of this apostille convention, consular legalisation must follow the FCO legalisation.
Legalisations.org.uk completes this process on your behalf, so that you do not need to visit any of the government or consular offices personally. Our agents also check the documents thoroughly for adherence to standard formats, presence of appropriate seals and signatures, before they are submitted to the FCO or concerned embassy departments. These documents are safely returned to our clients domestically and internationally through courier services, once the process is completed.
For any queries regarding the process, kindly send an email to email@example.com. You can also call us at 0845 224 9482.
The Most Common Documents We Legalise
Standard Personal Documents
Corporate Business Documents
Frequently Asked Questions
Legalisations.org.uk will take care of the entire process of marriage certificate document legalisation on your behalf. Our experienced agents will guide you through the process, making sure that the documents are in the prescribed order, submitting them on your behalf to the FCO office and collecting them after the apostille certificate has been attached.
Through a streamlined process, we ensure that your documents are legalised and returned to you in a quick and safe manner.
Step 1: Contact us with all your requirements via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us at 0845 224 9482. Our agents will advise you regarding the process and inform you of the timeframe and fees involved, based on the package you choose.
Step 2: Send us the original documents through courier or submit them personally at our office in London.
Step 3: The documents will be checked by our agents for proper format and other specifications. After solicitor attestation, they will be submitted to the FCO office in Milton Keynes for legalisation.
Step 4: Our agents will collect the documents from the FCO office. If required, they will be further submitted to the concerned legalisation or consular office of the Embassy in London.
Step 5: The documents will be returned to you via courier, whether you are in the UK or residing outside the country. You can also choose to pick them up from our office.
The FCO charges £75.00 per document for legalisation. Our service charges will be added to that. If you choose the standard package, the charges are £105 + VAT, which ensures turnaround time of 6 business days. Our express package is available for £135+ VAT, which ensures delivery within 2 business days.
Please note that our service charges are inclusive of the in-house solicitor fee. Documents might to be certified by a solicitor prior to submission to the FCO. If your document does not have attestation from a notary public or solicitor, we will take care of that.
Legalisations.org.uk offers a smooth experience of document legalisation.
Send us your documents through courier via Royal Mail or special delivery services. You can also submit them personally at our office in London. If you reside outside the UK, you can courier the documents to us via DHL or UPS international delivery.
You can utilize our services from anywhere in the world. Just send us your documents through UPS or DHL international delivery services and our agents will take care of the entire process.
However, please ensure that you send us an email containing the scanned copies of the documents beforehand, to help us avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.
We would also recommend that you find out whether you will need embassy legalisation of your marriage certificate document or not. If the country where you intend to use the document does not belong to the 1961 Hague Convention, consular legalisation will be mandatory, after FCO legalisation. Please ensure that you clear this with the local authorities in order to ensure the documentation is correct.
The GRO office issues the marriage certificate in the UK, signed, dated and stamped by the Superintendent Registrar of the district where the registration was completed. However, to legalise the document for use in overseas jurisdictions, it will need the apostille certification of the FCO in London. Prior to the FCO attaching an apostille stamp to the marriage certificate, the document will need attestation by an accredited solicitor or notary public in the UK.
As the UK is a signatory member of the 1961 Hague Convention, public documents only require the apostille certificate for legal authentication for use abroad. However, if the other country is not a member of this convention, the additional step of embassy legalisation will need to be completed to ensure the marriage certificate document is legally acceptable in the concerned nation. In this case, Legalisation.org.uk will take on the responsibility of submitting the document to the respective Embassy in London, after FCO apostille legalisation.
In the UK, an A5-sized certificate is attached permanently to the original document, on the reverse. This is the apostille certificate, which contains 10 sub-sections:
- Country: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Has been signed by: Solicitor or UK FCO official
- Acting in the capacity of: The official’s capacity as an authorised signatory
- Bears the seal/stamp of the FCO.
- At London
- The date of issue
- By Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
- Number: The registration number or document identification number
- Seal/stamp: The red seal bearing the government crest is attached here.
- Signature of the issuing officer
The process is incomplete without the red apostille seal, which is embossed on the top of the certificate with the UK government crest.