How to obtain documents or certified copies of documents

Click on the relevant section below for information about how to obtain the official document or document service that you need.

We cannot authenticate diplomas, certificates or other academic records, nor provide notarial services related to academic credentials. Please visit the Department of State’s website for the options available to you.

If you need to obtain academic transcripts or certificates, please contact the school, college or  university directly.

An apostille is a certificate attached to a document signed in front of a notary public attesting to the notary’s standing.  An apostille can also be attached to public records, such as birth, death, marriage certificates and court documents, confirming that the document is a genuine document. An apostille does not attest to the content of a document.

U.S. embassies and consulates cannot authenticate, attest to, or legalize any documents.

For documents signed before a UK notary, or for UK vital records such as birth, death or marriage certificates, please contact the Legalisation Department of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

If you need an apostille for documents signed before a U.S. notary, or for U.S. vital records such as birth, death or marriage certificates, contact the Authentication or Legalization Department in the office of the Secretary of State in the relevant state.

Please visit the UK government’s website for information and contact details, including information about how to renew your permit or replace a lost, stolen or missing permit.

If your U.S. passport is lost, stolen or missing, click here for information about how to apply for a new passport.

UK birth certificates

Visit the UK government’s website for information about how to apply for a certified copy of a birth certificate issued in the UK.

If you are requesting a birth certificate in connection with genealogical research, you may find our family history information useful.

If you are referring to a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by a U.S. embassy or a consulate, please see the section below for the information you need.

U.S. birth certificates

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General cannot issue replacement or certified copies of U.S. birth certificates, or amend a birth certificate. You can apply for a copy or request an amendment through the Vital Records Office in the state in which the birth occurred.

Another source for obtaining certificates is VitalChek.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates do not keep copies of Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) certificates on file. You may apply for a copy through the Department of State in the United States.

We cannot provide documentation regarding an individual’s conduct or lack of criminal record. Here is a summary of the options available to you:

UK

You can visit the UK government’s website for information about how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

If you require a police certificate in connection with a visa application, a subject access request or an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC), please visit the ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) website.

U.S.

You can contact the local police department where you last resided in the United States to request that the police conduct a criminal records search and provide you with a document reflecting that there is no history of a criminal record. The document should then be authenticated for use abroad following our guidance on authentication or legalization of documents following the instruction in the Apostille section above.

Alternatively, you can visit the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) website for information about Identity History Summary checks and other options.

Documents required for use abroad may require additional authentication. Please see travel.state.gov for guidance on authentication or legalization of U.S. documents.

Please visit the U.S. Department of Treasury website for information about how to apply to replace mutilated U.S. currency.

UK death certificates

Visit the UK government’s website for information about how to apply for a certified copy of a death certificate issued in the UK.

If you are requesting a death certificate in connection with genealogical research, you may find our family history information useful.

U.S. death certificates

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General cannot issue replacement or certified copies of U.S. death certificates, or amend a death certificate. You can apply for a copy or request an amendment through the Vital Records Office in the state in which the death occurred.

Another source for obtaining certificates is VitalChek.

UK

Visit the UK government’s website for information about applying for, renewing, or changing the information on a driver’s licence.

U.S.

Driver’s licenses are issued by the individual states in the United States so you should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the relevant state for information about reissuance.

If you are visiting the UK, it is often sufficient to carry a photocopy of the biographical data page of your U.S. passport during your stay, as long as you can store your passport safely at your accommodation. Please note, you will need to carry the passport itself for any overseas travel, and if you will be exchanging currency or traveler’s cheques (checks).

If you live in the UK and require convenient proof of age and ID for day-to-day use, you may wish to consider applying for a CitizenCard. It displays the PASS hologram endorsed by the Home Office and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, and is recognized by the police and retailers when assessing access to age restricted products or premises.

Please note, U.S. citizens must enter and exit the United States using a valid U.S. passport, even if they are a dual citizen. If you need to apply for a U.S. passport for travel, click here.

Visit the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website for information about how to report financial fraud, identity theft, irregularities, data breaches or misuse, and how to protect your identity.

If you are applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and need to have your identification verified before sending your application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, please click here.

Visit the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website for information and resources that may help you.

Please be aware that it is increasingly common for fraudsters to falsely claim to be lawyers, police or government officials and offer to send you unclaimed money for a fee. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website provides tips on how you can identify and avoid these imposter scams.

UK marriage certificates

Visit the UK government’s website for information about how to apply for a certified copy of a marriage certificate issued in the UK.

If you are requesting a marriage certificate in connection with genealogical research, you may find our family history information useful.

U.S. marriage certificates

The U.S. Embassy cannot issue replacement or certified copies of U.S. marriage certificates. You can apply for a copy through the Vital Records Office in the state in which the marriage occurred.

Another source for obtaining certificates is VitalChek.

A consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate general cannot perform a Medallion Signature Guarantee (which is a financial institution’s guarantee that an investor’s signature is genuine as well as its acceptance of any liability for any forgery within the securities transfer instruction). Please do not schedule an appointment for this.

Click here to find out how to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee.

Depositor in the United States

If you need to send funds to a loved one in the UK you can go to the closest MoneyGram or Western Union office or use the MoneyGram or Western Union website. Alternatively, you can transfer funds through a bank account.

Please contact your chosen money transfer service and banking institution with any questions about transfer fees.

Recipient in the United Kingdom

If the funds were transferred through a money transfer company, the recipient will need to go to a collection location. There are locations at international airports and in towns and cities in the UK.

The closest MoneyGram location to the Embassy in London is Battersea Post Office, 20 Battersea Park Road
London, SW11 4HY. The closest Western Union location is Friends Grocers, 254 Wandsworth Road, Nine Elms, London, SW8 2JS.

You will need the reference number that the depositor was given when the transaction was completed and photo identification.

If you don’t have photo ID, you can apply for a replacement U.S. passport through the Embassy or a Consulate General and ask for letter stating that we are processing the application. You can take the letter, your police report and the fund transfer reference number to the money collection location and explain your circumstances.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General cannot issue replacement certificates or copies. Please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for information about how to apply for a replacement certificate.

The Treasury Direct website has comprehensive information about United States Savings Bonds, including how to replace lost, stolen or damaged bonds and how to calculate the value of bonds.

Click here if you need information about redeeming U.S. savings bonds in the UK.

To find out about Selective Service and to register, please visit the Selective Service website.

If the online form is unavailable, you may complete and print this PDF form and mail it to Selective Service System Registration Information Office, P.O. Box 94739, Palatine, IL 60094-4739, USA.  Do not mail the form to the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General.

In the United Kingdom, Social Security and survivor benefits are handled by the Embassy’s Federal Benefits and Social Security Unit. Click here for information and contact details.

If the death of a U.S. citizen in the UK has not yet been reported to the U.S. Embassy ​for a death in England or Wales, Consulate​ ​General Edinburgh for a death in Scotland or Consulate General Belfast for a death in Northern Ireland, please click here information about how to do this in order to obtain a Consular Report of Death Abroad.

If your social security card has been lost or stolen, click here to report the loss/theft to the Federal Benefits Unit at the Embassy.

The Social Security Administration recommends that you monitor your credit rating via various credit reporting companies to identify any unauthorized use or abuse of your Social Security number.

We are unable to provide student financial assistance. We recommend that you contact the financial aid or admissions office of your educational institution(s) for information about the options available to you.

For information about UK tax and National Insurance, please visit the UK government’s website for information from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Click here for important information from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for taxpayers living abroad. If you still have questions after checking the IRS website, you can call the International Taxpayer Service Call Center for assistance.

IRS refund checks are mailed to the individual’s last known address. If you are expecting a federal tax refund, you can check your refund status on the IRS website.

If you need information about a state tax, you can contact your state’s revenue department.

We do not have the authority to transfer visas or stamps issued by other countries. If you have questions about your status in the United Kingdom or your documentation, visit the UK government website.

If you have been asked to submit a document that you don’t have and don’t know how to obtain, we suggest that you contact the individual or organization that has made the request to clarify why the document was requested and how to obtain it, and to find out whether they may be able to accept any alternative information or documentation instead.

We can only answer questions about services provided by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General directly.

  • If you have questions about a U.S. government service in the United States, please visit usa.gov to locate information and contact details.
  • If your question is about a UK government service, you should visit gov.uk for guidance and contact information.
  • If you have a contact relating to any other service, please contact the individual or organization directly to clarify their requirements and find out what you should do next.