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:

  • £5.50 in the UK (including British Forces Post Office)
  • £14.50 per 500g in Europe (not including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine)
  • £25 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. It might take longer in July and August.

You’ll get an email if there’s a problem with your application.

Businesses can register for the legalisation premium service.

Where to send your application

If you’re sending your documents by post from the UK:

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

If you’re 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 these addresses in person - only by post or courier.

If you’re a member of the DX Exchange courier service you can also send your application to:

The Legalisation Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
DX 310701
Milton Keynes 26

You won’t get your legalised documents back via the same service.

Other payment methods

You can no longer pay by UK postal order, banker’s draft or business cheque. If you’re having difficulty paying online, email:

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