Certify a document as a true copy of the original by getting it signed and dated by a professional person, like a solicitor.

When you apply for something like a bank account or mortgage, you may be asked to provide documents that are certified as true copies of the original.

Copies of documents that can be certified include:

  • 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

There are different rules for passport applications and photos and for a lasting power of attorney.

Who can certify a document

To certify documents, ask a professional person or someone well-respected in your community (‘of good standing’) like a:

  • bank or building society official
  • councillor
  • dentist
  • police officer
  • solicitor
  • teacher or lecturer

The person you ask shouldn’t be:

  • related to you
  • living at the same address
  • in a relationship with you

Check with the organisation that needs the certified copy - they may have specific rules for who can certify a document.

How to certify a document

Take the photocopied document and the original 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

The person certifying the document may charge you a fee.

Certifying a translation

If you need to certify a translation of a document that’s not written in English or Welsh, ask the translation company to confirm in writing on the translation:

  • 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

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