Documents and legal services

Getting married overseas? Lost your Spanish marriage certificate?

We offer a number of services for the public to assist them in their day-to-day lives both in the UK and abroad.

What is our Legalisation service?

We legalise thousands of documents each year.

If you are going to use British documents overseas, for business or personal reasons, you’ll probably be asked to have your documents legalised before they can be accepted. The FCO stamp of authenticity gives the person you’re dealing with complete confidence that it’s the genuine article.

What local documents can we search for?

We also provide a service to British nationals where we approach the authorities of another country to try and obtain local documents such as birth certificates and adoption certificates on their behalf.


Information about the Legalisation services we provide - including confirming the authenticity of documents before these are taken overseas.

Local document search

Information about the local document search the FCO offers, from legalisation to searching for legal documents.

what we are doing to improve

Births marriages and deaths

Registration and legal information

Pair of gold wedding rings on wedding register.  © Martin Poole/Getty Images