The Legalisation Office

For many years the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have been responsible for the legalisation of documents for international use. This service is provided by the legalisation office which is a department within the FCO.

The Legalisation Office used to be located in London near Admiralty Arch and allowed customers to hand process documents during normal working hours. Members of the public could attend the office with their documents, take a ticket (much like queueing in a supermarket for the meat counter) and wait for several hours to be served. After a further wait of around an hour documents would then be checked and either issued with an apostille or be rejected.

The Legalisation Office close the public counter

Following a move to Milton Keynes the Legalisation Office decided to streamline their service and closed their doors to the general public in April 2011. In an attempt to manage the increasing number of documents being submitted for an apostille the FCO stopped providing a same day apostille for the public. All orders must now be sent by post and enquiries are limited to a call centre that opens for 4 hours each day.

Recognised services allowed to visit

A select number of service providers have been granted permission to still hand deliver documents. Recognised apostille service providers now visit the legalisation office every day to submit and collect documents from the Milton Keynes office. This ensures documents are processed securely and provides a quicker service. Unfortunately we have been asked not divulge this address to the general public to prevent visitors arriving with documents. There is no public counter and documents cannot be hand delivered.

If you would like a document apostilled quickly then a recognised apostille service can help you. Using an apostille service makes ordering an apostille simple. You will benefit from first class customer service, quicker processing times and many additional services including embassy attestation, translation, and international delivery options.

About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.