How to Certify A Document

You and more than a thousand others have at one point in your life felt the urge to alter specific parts of your life, and that’s normal. You might not love your current residence and want to move to the city or the country, or you might want to take up your spouse’s name officially.

However, depending on the state, these changes might not be reflected in your official documents, which can be an issue when you need to use your records to combine your pension fund or make a pension1 transfer.  Most people, at this point, throw in the towel on their venture and decide to stick with their original plans.

Well, you don’t have to. All you need to do is to get certified copies and here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand how to authenticate a document.

But first…

What Are Certified Copies?

A certified document is a copy of an original document that’s signed and initialled by a person of good standing in the community. It proves that the copies you are presenting are the actual copies of the original document.

Certified copies help in minimizing the risk of fraud and allow you to hand on to your original documents. These copies also come in handy if you misplace or lose the original documents.

The most popular certified documents that your pension provider might ask for include:

  • Passports
  • Identification documents
  • Utility bills
  • Letters from a government department
  • Photocard driving licenses
  • Credit card statements
  • Letters from a hospital or doctor

How Are Documents Certified?

The process of document certification is pretty simple and straight forward. You’ll need to make photocopies of the original document and take them to the person handling the accreditation. They’ll then write ‘certified to be a true copy as seen by me’ on the record. After this, they should proceed to sign and date the document while also writing their details (name, address, phone number, and occupation), underneath the signature.

You should, however, note that most individuals will charge for this service.

Who Can Certify Documents?

Essentially, the people who can certify documents2 need to be of good standing in the community. These include:

  • Bank or building society officials
  • Religious leaders
  • Notaries or solicitors
  • Chartered accountants
  • Teachers
  • Lecturers
  • Councillors

The person you chose to certify your documents shouldn’t be related to you, live with you or be in a relationship with you – it prevents bias.

Moreover, if you don’t get hold of these officials, then you can get to a post office. Some will provide you with documentation certification service, but a fee.  

Witnessing Documents

If you want to have a witness when you’re getting your documents certified, you have to ensure that the person you ask is at least 18 years old and:

  • Not related to you
  • Not residing at the same address as you
  • Doesn’t have financial or any other interests with you

How Can You Certify A Translated Document?

If you want to certify a translated document, you can request the translation firm to confirm in writing on the translation:

  • That it’s a ‘true and precise translation of the original document.’
  • The date when the document was translated
  • The full name and contact particulars of the translator or a representative of the translation firm

You don’t have to rethink transferring your pension or combining your pension fund. By certifying your documents, you can quickly leap on to a QROPS3 or have a combined pension pot. How hard can it be to set up an appointment with a solicitor anyway?

Common Questions

How Does One Certify A Document?
Who Can Certify A Document In The UK?
Can the Post Office Certify Documents in the UK?
How Much Does It Cost to Certify A Document?