You get a UK public document ‘legalised’ by asking the UK government to confirm that a UK public official’s signature, seal or stamp on the document is genuine.

You might need to do this if a local authority abroad has asked you to provide a document and they’ve said it must be legalised.

How to get a document legalised

  1. Check your document can be legalised.

  2. Pay online for the service.

  3. Complete the legalisation application form.

  4. Send your documents, application form, a blank A4-sized envelope and the payment confirmation page (which you’ll get after you pay online) to the relevant address. There are different addresses depending on how you send the documents and where you’re sending them from.

What it costs

It costs £30 per document, plus the cost of the postage to return your documents by courier. This is:

  • £4.50 in the UK (including British Forces Post Office)
  • £12.50 per 500g in Europe (not including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine)
  • £22 per 500g in every other country

Include an A4-sized pre-paid envelope if you’re in the UK and don’t want your documents returned by courier.

How long it takes

It normally takes 48 hours to legalise your documents, plus courier or postage time. You’ll get an email if there’s a delay.

Businesses can register for the legalisation premium service.

Sending your documents by post from the UK

Legalisation Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
PO Box 6255
Milton Keynes
MK10 1XX

Sending your documents from abroad or by courier from the UK

Legalisation Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hanslope Park
Milton Keynes
MK19 7BH

You can’t deliver documents to this address in person - only by post or courier.

Other payment methods

Until 1 June 2015 you can also pay by UK postal order, banker’s draft or business cheque (made payable to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

Contact the Legalisation Office
Telephone: 03700 00 22 44
Monday to Friday, midday to 4pm
Find out about call charges