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.
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:
- 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
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.
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?
Well, there’s are several ways you can employ to certify your documents. However, one of the most popular methods on how to certify a document in the UK is by first making photocopies of the document in question.
You then have to present these copies and the original document to the person doing the certification. They’ll then write ‘certified to be a true copy, as seen by me’ sign and date the form. The officials will also need to put down their name, occupation, and phone number under the signature.
The people who have the authority to certify documents include:
- Chartered accountants
- Religious leaders
- Bank officials
- Teachers and lecturers
The person who conducts this process should have a good reputation in the community. You should also ensure that they’re not related to you, in a relationship or living with you.
Yes, by at select post office branches. They’ll make a face to face check of your document and then send the electronic copies of the records to the individuals requiring the documents.
Well, if you’re certifying your documents at the solicitor’s office, the cost will vary depending on the type of document certification you need. If you want to use the forms in the UK and not abroad, then the accreditation by the solicitor, chartered accountant or doctor will be less costly then when you pot to get it done by a notary public,
According to financial experts, to notarize a copy of an electricity bill, bank statement or your driver’s license, you can be charged about £20 to £40, inclusive of VAT. Notarizing a copy of your identification card or passport goes for about £30 to £50, + VAT.