By having it signed and dated, a professional person, such as a solicitor, can certify a document as a true copy of the original.
You may be required to submit documents that have been certified as true copies of the original when applying for a bank account or a mortgage.
Certified copies of the following an original documents are available:
- photocard driving licences
- letters from a government department
- bank/building society or credit card statements
- gas, electricity or council tax bills
- letters from a hospital/doctor
Different rules apply to passport applications and photos, as well as a durable power of attorney.
You’ll need to have it signed and dated by a professional. A ‘well-respected’ signer is required.
A certified copy of a document may be required for a variety of reasons. Applying for a bank account or a home mortgage are two common reasons.
In these situations, the institution may request that you submit documents that have been certified as true copies of the original.
Who can certify a document
Your document must be certified by a professional or someone in your community who is well-known (‘of good standing’). You could inquire if the following companies provide this service:
- bank or building society official
- minister of religion
- chartered accountant
- solicitor or notary
- teacher or lecturer
The person you ask should not be:
- related to you
- living at the same address
- in a relationship with you
Check with the organization that requires the certified copy; they may have rules about who can certify a document.
How to certify a document
Take both the photocopied and original document and ask the person to certify the copy by:
- writing ‘Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the document
- signing and dating it
- printing their name under the signature
- adding their occupation, address and telephone number
You may be charged a fee by the person who certifies the document.
Certifying a translation
If you need to certify a translation of a document that isn’t written in English or Welsh, request that the translation company confirm the translation in writing:
- that it’s a ‘true and accurate translation of the original document’
- the date of the translation
- the full name and contact details of the translator or a representative of the translation company