Notarial and documentary services guide for Japan
Documents, certificates, letters and notes available at the British Embassy in Japan.
The British Embassy Tokyo can provide a limited range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals in Japan.
You must make an appointment for each service. 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 Japan, the UK or a third country.
Services we provide in Japan
Consular staff at the British Embassy Tokyo can:
- make a certified copy of a UK passport or UK driving licence
- administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit for the purpose of marriage under Japanese law
- perform a consular marriage or a civil partnership for same sex couples
- convert a civil partnership to marriage
If you can’t find the service you are looking for on this page, see other services provided by the British embassy in Japan.
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 all fees.
Fees will be calculated to the yen equivalent of the pound charge. You can pay by cash, Visa or MasterCard. Refunds of consular fees are not given for certificates or notarial services that are not accepted by the requesting authority.
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, residence cards, UK or Japanese driving licences, etc. as proof of identity.
We accept residence cards, driving licenses, etc. as proof of your address. We also accept bank statements and utility bills that were issued within three months.
Make a certified copy of a document
If you need a certified copy of your British passport or UK driving license, you will need to submit the original document. We cannot accept copies or scans.
We cannot make certified copies of British birth, marriage or death certificates, which can be obtained from the appropriate local register office or the General Register Office in the UK.
We are not able to certify educational documents e.g. school diplomas. Please contact the Legalisation Office in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
We are not able to certify documents issued by Japanese authorities e.g. residence cards or family registers.
What you will need to bring with you:
- The document that you need a certified copy of
- The correct fee
- Proof of identity and address
Administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit
We can witness affidavits and affirmations for the purpose of getting married under local law in Japan. Please see getting married abroad for more information.
The British Embassy Tokyo cannot witness any affidavits relating to company registrations.
Consular marriage or civil partnership (for same sex couples)
This service is for same-sex couples who would like to get married or enter into a civil partnership in Japan. For more information on getting married or entering into a civil partnership, see getting married abroad.
What you need to do
You must give notice of marriage/civil-partnership at the Embassy in Tokyo, which will be posted for 14 clear days, and then register your marriage or partnership at the Embassy in Tokyo.
- You must reside in Japan for at least 7 clear days immediately before you give notice. You will need to provide supporting documents (see below) and will be charged a fee.
- You can elect to have your consular marriage registered in England and Wales or Scotland. Tell the embassy where you wish to register your marriage at your appointment.
- The notice will be displayed in our public waiting area for 14 days. If you are applying for marriage, but do not normally live in Japan, you and your partner must reside in Japan during this period.
- As long as nobody registers an objection during the 14 days, the registration officer can then register your marriage or partnership any time until 3 months after you gave notice.
- You will need to provide 2 witnesses and pay a fee to register your marriage or civil partnership. You will need to pay an additional fee for your marriage or civil partnership certificate (see the fees table on this page for further information).
- If you are applying for marriage, you and your partner will each be required to sign a declaration stating that you have had your usual home in Japan for 21 days before the marriage can be solemnized.
What you will need to bring with you
- your original passports
- proof of residence in Japan (residence card, visa stamp on passport, employer’s letter, bank statement, etc)
- if your partner is non-British, proof that s/he is free to marry (for example a document from their local authorities or embassy/government confirming that they are free to marry)
- if either of you have been divorced, widowed or in a civil partnership before, a decree absolute or final order or the death certificate
Book an appointment for notice of marriage or civil partnership at British Embassy Tokyo
Convert a civil partnership to marriage
This service is for couples who wish to convert an existing UK civil partnership into marriage.
Please read the Convert a civil partnership into a marriage page and book an appointment below.
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.
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.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy / consulate 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 / consulate 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/consulate will be accepted.
Published: 16 April 2013
Updated: 22 August 2017
- Information updated on certified copies, affidavits & affirmations, and civil partnership conversions
- Marriage in Japan guidance updated
- Marital Status Document Guidance updated
- Updated 25 August 2016
- Updated 24 April 2017
- Converting a civil partnership to marriage information inserted
- No notarial services at the Consulate-General in Osaka
- First published.