Document Certification, Witnessing and Swearings2022-03-30T08:27:54+00:00
  • Documents and witnessing

Document Certification

Document certification is available. Document certification may be needed for many reasons. Common examples are certifying original Passports and Utility Bills to prove your identity to third parties, such as other Solicitors, or Government Departments.

The certification process is when a solicitor makes a copy of an original document and then signs it to certify that it is a true and accurate copy of the original. The solicitor may also be required to certify the likeness of the applicant of photographic identification. For certification, we will need to see the original document.

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Documents and witnessing


Document witnessing is also available. A legal document may need to be witnessed in the presence of a solicitor.  Our charges for document witnessing are £50 plus VAT for the first signature and then £10 plus VAT per additional signature.

Payment cannot be made in cash and must be made either in advance via our payment link below or by card payment before the appointment.

Document witnessing is not Independent Legal Advice (ILA).

Swears and Affirmations

Swears and affirmations are when an individual signs a document in the presence of a solicitor and ‘swears’ or ‘affirms’ that the contents of that document are true.

Examples of documents that need to be sworn or affirmed include statutory declarations and oaths for executors or administrators as part of the Probate process.

The cost of a swear is £5 for the document to be sworn and an additional £2 for each attachment known as an ‘exhibit’.

Please bring cash with you, as unfortunately, we don’t take card payments for these services.  These services are undertaken by an individual lawyer and are therefore not subject to VAT.

Next Step

For a swear, affirmation, certification, or witnessing you will also need to ensure that you bring with you some photographic identification in the form of a passport or photo driving licence so that you can be identified for the “swear”, “affirmation” document certification or witnessing by our solicitor.  For certified identification or witnessing, you must attend in person as the solicitor will need to certify that the identification document bears a true likeness to the individual.

We have a number of qualified solicitors at our Ipswich, Colchester and North London offices that are “Commissioners for Oaths” so if you need a document to be sworn, affirmed, certified, or witnessed we can help you.

Attwells Solicitors is not a Notary Public and therefore if you require a document to be notarised, or ‘legalised’, then we will not be able to help with this process, but we can put you in touch with a local firm who will be able to help.

When undertaking a swear, affirmation, certification, or witnessing your signature, a solicitor is not providing legal advice as to the contents or enforceability of the document that you are signing but instead is verifying that you have carried out the swear or affirmation correctly or that the document is an identical copy of the original or that the solicitor has witnessed your signature.

If you require initial legal advice in connection with a matter, then we are happy to have an initial, no-obligation chat over the telephone.

Personal Law Articles

We have taken the time to explain different parts of the legal process and to offer practical advice.  A lot of our articles have been written based on the personal experience of our solicitors, support staff, and clients. We hope you find the information useful.

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