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FAQ About Documents

Can I get a British marriage certificate if I marry abroad?

No, you will obtain a marriage certificate from the country you marry in, and this will need to be translated into English in order to change your name.

Can I register an overseas marriage in the UK when I return?

There is no legal requirement to deposit your foreign marriage or civil partnership certificate with the GRO, or to have your marriage/civil partnership recorded in the UK. The deposit of a foreign certificate does not make the marriage legal in the UK, nor does it ‘recognise’ the marriage as a valid one.

Can I send photocopies?

No, we need your original documents in order to be able to legalise them at the FCO and the relevant consulate/embassy and attach them to the notarised translations.

Can I use your translations for a Visa application at the Home Office?

Yes, all our translators hold the professional qualifications to be able to sign translations that will be used at the Home Office (e.g. for Visa applications).

Do I need to take copies?

(We don’t know) Your travel agent will be best placed to advise you on any copies you might need to take with you. Any copies of the documents that have been translated and legalised or their translations will need to be legalised as well for them to be valid copies.

Does each person need to declare a statutory declaration?

Joint declarations are not accepted. Statutory declarations are to be declared per person and must include passport numbers, address and line of employment.

For how long are my documents valid?

Validity varies from country to country. Your travel agent will be best placed to advise you. Alternatively, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.

How do I get a copy of my birth certificate?

You can obtain a copy of your birth certificate from your local register office. Alternatively, just send us the following details and we will find your birth certificate and deliver it to you:

  • Full name of the person
  • Name, telephone number and postal address of the person receiving the certificate
  • Exact date or year of the event
  • Place where the event took place
  • Name and surname of the father
  • Name, surname and maiden name of the mother
  • GRO index reference (if you have it)

How do I know I can trust you with my original documents?

As legalisation professionals, we know how important and sensitive your documents are. This is why we attend the FCO and country authorities personally to ensure your documents are treated with the utmost care.

TLC UK is a member of several organisations that reinforce our commitment to delivering the best service; among these: The Association of Translation Companies, GWE Chamber of Commerce, ISO 90001 and the FCO Know Before You Go Campaign.

How long are statutory declarations valid for?

Statutory declarations are valid for a period of three months from the date of issue.

How long will the documents be valid for?

For legal purposes in Cuba, documents will be valid for 6 months once they have been legalised by the Cuban Consulate in the UK.

How should I send the documents to you?

It is strongly recommended to send the documents by special delivery.

How to get a certificate of no impediment?

In most cases, if you are marrying overseas and you live in the UK, you can obtain a CNI from your local register office. If you live overseas, you should contact your nearest British Embassy or Consulate who will be able to provide you with details on how to apply for a CNI.

How will you send the documents back to me?

Your documents will be dispatched by special delivery with next day delivery before 1pm.

Once I receive the marriage certificate in Spanish, do I need to have it translated into English?

Yes, you will need your marriage certificate translated into English and certified by an authorized translator in order to change your name. We can provide this service for just £98.75 (including VAT).

What documents can the FCO legalise?

The FCO can legalise most UK documents as long as they bear an original signature or seal from a UK public organisation or official practising in the UK. A UK document means that it originated or has been executed in the UK.

The FCO cannot attach an apostille, under any circumstances, directly on to an original document produced or executed in a foreign country. However, they can legalise a photocopy of a foreign document if it has been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK, or if the original is attached to a notarial certificate.

If a UK notary public or solicitor practising within the UK is signing a document, they should state clearly what exactly it is they are certifying in relation to the document. They must sign in their own name and not use a company signature. They should clearly print their name and their firm's name under the signature.

What documents can the UK General Register Office issue?

The UK General Register Office can issue documents such as birth, death, marriage and Civil Partnership Certificates, Certificates of No Impediment (CNIs).

What documents do I need?

Depending on your personal situation documentation requirements will vary. Please give us a call to find out what documents you need or check with your travel agent or with the hotel direct to finalise what your legal documentation requirements are before sending your documents to us as these may vary region to region and hotel to hotel.

What is a certificate of no impediment?

A Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) is a certificate which confirms there are no objections to your proposed marriage. If you are getting married overseas, you may be asked to prove that you are single or that you are allowed to marry. In most cases, you will be able to obtain a CNI for this purpose.

See also Certificate of No Impediment when Marrying Abroad.

What is a deed poll?

A deed, or written document that is signed, sealed and delivered, to which there is only one party – for instance, one that declares a change of name and gives a legal proof of name change.

What is a notary public?

A notary public is a solicitor who holds an internationally recognised public office. Their job is to prepare, attest, authenticate and certify documents (e.g. translations), for use anywhere in the world.

Notaries are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by the Court of Faculties.

What is a single status affidavit?

A single status affidavit is a sworn statement that you are eligible to marry. It is also known as single status statutory declaration.

What is a single status statutory declaration?

It is a legal declaration in which a person declares their single marital status. The SSSD is per person; it is not a joint declaration.

What is a statutory declaration?

A statutory declaration is a declaration signed by a solicitor/notary public which states that there are no impediments for the declarer to get married.

See also What is a Statutory Declaration?

What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is a sworn legal statement used mainly to support certain applications or as evidence in court proceedings.

What is an apostille?

An official certificate issued by the Foreign Office to certify the authenticity of signatures/seals on a document.

Where do I send the documents, once you have returned them to me?

You should contact your travel agent and they will inform you whether the documentation needs to be sent to them or to the hotel/registry where the wedding is taking place.

Would I be able to change my name in my driving license, passport and bank account using the translation you will provide of my marriage certificate?

Yes, our marriage certificate translations are always certified by the translator who carried out the work. This certification states that the translator is qualified and the translation is true and accurate. This will be sufficient proof for the authorities issuing your new documents.

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