How Are Documents Verified?

In order for any document to be legalised with the UK apostille the document must be signed by a person of a recognised legal standing or stamped by a recognised legal authority. The legal signatory will verify the document before adding their signature or seal. There are several means available to verify a given document.

Degree Certificates

Security printing is becoming increasingly prevalent to prevent the forgery of high-value documents. Most degree certificates issued in the last decade will include several security features that make the document almost impossible to reproduce.

The security features include micro-printing, embedded holograms and watermarked paper amongst others. These features can give a solicitor or notary some degree of confidence when certifying a document, nevertheless, if there are any doubts the solicitor or notary can contact the university directly to verify a document with the candidate's consent.

Our solicitors reserve the right to independently verify any academic document.

Company Documents

The UK is home to Companies House; one of the most reputable and pioneering company registries in the world. Companies House promote transparency and do so via maintaining a freely accessible company register. This register records various details relating to a UK company in the public domain.

Most company documents will need to be certified by a solicitor or a notary public in order to be eligible for the apostille. The legal official in question can check the public register to confirm the current appointments, the company structure and the filing history of a company when certifying a document.

Identification Documents

It is imperative that identification documents cannot be replicated and, as a result of this, the security features contained within a passport or a driving licence are substantial. A solicitor or notary can review these features when presented with an original identification document.

Should it be needed, it is also possible to verify passports and driving licences online with a ‘soft’ search on the owners credit file. This search has no impact on the person’s credit rating and is not seen by anyone searching the credit file for lending purposes. This is simply used as a means to verify the authenticity of a given identity document.

Although this is a condensed list of the verification procedures for some of the most common documents the same principles apply for all documents. If you need to order an apostille for your document please contact us for advice. We complete the document verification checks, solicitor certification and apostille in approximately 2 working days in most cases.

About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.