Certifying an original document

original document

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:

  • passports
  • 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
  • councillor
  • minister of religion
  • dentist
  • 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