Guidance

Notarial and documentary services guide for Bulgaria

Notarial services, certificates, notes and letters available at the British Embassy in Sofia.

Overview

The British consulate can provide a range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals in Bulgaria. Where local notaries can provide services, the British consulate will not provide them. In many cases local notaries or lawyers can provide services more cheaply, quickly and conveniently.

Some services may be available by post. You must make an appointment for each service that requires your personal attendance. Use the links after each service to make an appointment.

Before booking, make sure you have selected the correct service and that the document will be accepted by the relevant authority. This could be the local town hall, registry office, tax authorities, immigration office or another authority either in Bulgaria, the UK or a third country.

Services we provide in Bulgaria

Consular staff in Bulgaria can:

  • make a certified copy of a document
  • unite documents
  • prepare a document in English or the local language
  • provide information about legalising a document

For information about documents relating to marriage, such as a certificate of no impediment (CNI) and affirmations or affidavits of marital status, see getting married abroad. If you can’t find the service you are looking for on this page, see other services provided by the British embassy in Bulgaria.

What to bring to your appointment

See the individual services below for details of supporting documents to bring. Make sure you have acceptable proof of address and identity, and payment for any fees. See the full list of consular fees.

Payment

We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, or cash in the local currency on the day of the appointment.

Proof of address and identity

For all appointments for notarial services you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address.

We accept passports or national identity cards as proof of identity.

We accept Bulgarian ID cards or residence permits, utility bills and bank statements (received by post, not printed off websites) as proof of your address.

Make a certified copy of a document

This service is for customers who need certified photocopies of British passports, Home Office registration/naturalisation certificates, UK educational documents (only those that have been issued in the UK by a recognised institution and are listed on the Legalisation Office website), British driving licences (both the plastic card and paper document are required) and British divorce decrees.

What you will need to bring with you:

Book an appointment to make a certified copy in British Embassy Sofia.

Unite documents

This service joins documents together using ribbon and a seal and is usually only needed for legal reasons. What you will need to bring with you:

This service is offered only in combination with making a certified copy of a document if your document is more than one page long. Therefore there are no separate appointment slots available for it.

Prepare a document in English or the local language

This service is for customers who require a signed and stamped version of one of our information notes.

In a limited number of cases consular staff can write a statement of fact (‘preparing a certificate’) to help British nationals with various local authorities. The wording must be cleared with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, which means these documents will take longer to prepare.

We can only provide this service if we have proof that the wording/content you require is correct and unambiguous. This service is provided at the discretion of consular staff and we can refuse to provide it. Please contact the consulate before making an appointment.

We can prepare these documents in English or in the local language.

All the information notes available for download can be issued with a signature and stamp if this is what the local authorities require.

What you will need to bring with you:

To book an appointment for this service, please e-mail us at consularsection.sofia@fco.gov.uk.

Legalise a document

This service is for customers who require confirmation that the signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine. It does not certify the authenticity of a document or give approval of its content. UK public documents can be legalised by the Legalisation Office.

If you need to send your UK educational certificate for legalisation, the British Council in Sofia can provide verification of the original document and help you with sending it to the Legalisation Office for an apostille.

Download information notes

We have produced the following information notes (also known as standard letters) that you can download free of charge to present to local authorities:

Information note: change of name

Information note: marriage

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email webmaster@digital.fco.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

If you need an officially stamped/sealed version this attracts an additional fee. Please see Prepare a document in English or the local language.

Other services we provide

Services provided elsewhere

We no longer witness life certificates for British nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can do this for you.

Data protection

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy will be accepted.

Published 10 May 2013
Last updated 4 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated on 4 January 2018.
  2. "Informative note: Civil Status Certificates" added
  3. Life certificates info, data protection info and disclaimer added.
  4. Marriage information added
  5. Amendments made reflect changes in Consular Appointments Booking Service (CABS)
  6. chnges to appointments system
  7. Change to appointments booking system.
  8. Change in provision of notarial and documentary services offered by British Embassy Sofia
  9. We can no longer witness Life Certificates for the Departnemt for Work & Pensions and therefore we have removed "Signing a declaraton of existence" from the [list of services] (https://www.gov.uk/notarial-and-documentary-services-guide-for-bulgaria--2#services-we-provide-in-bulgaria) we provide. Please see the [list] (https://www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications) of recognised professionals who can witness Life Certificates.
  10. First published.