Can I Photocopy My Birth Certificate?
Often, procedures like enrolling children in school or obtaining identification documents require official, certified copies of birth certificates. These legal documents contain essential information about an individual, including their full name, date of birth, place of birth, parent’s names and registration number. Obtaining these documents can be done in a variety of ways. However, can you photocopy your birth certificate?
If you would like to learn more about business photocopiers, you can do so here.
Is Photocopying a Birth Certificate Legal in the UK?
A photocopy of your birth certificate is generally not recommended in the UK. Birth certificates are considered vital records typically issued by the General Register Office (GRO) in England and Wales, the National Records of Scotland, or the General Register Office for Northern Ireland. Official birth certificates are usually printed on specialised security paper and contain various security features to prevent forgery or tampering. Photocopying the certificate may result in a lower-quality copy that does not include these security features. Therefore, photocopies of birth certificates may not be accepted as valid proof of identity or for official purposes.
If you need a certified copy of your birth certificate for legal or administrative purposes, obtaining an official copy from the relevant authority is advisable. You can apply for a certified copy online or through postal services provided by the appropriate authority. The certified copy will bear the necessary security features and be accepted as an official document.
Remember that birth certificates contain sensitive personal information, so keeping the original document in a safe place is essential to avoid the risk of loss or unauthorised access.
General Register Office
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm
General Register Office
PO Box 2
What is a Birth Certificate?
A birth certificate is a legally valid document that establishes an individual’s identity and can be used for many purposes, such as obtaining official documents like driver’s licenses, social security cards, passports, visas, and more. As such, it is a critical piece of information to have. A person can request a copy of their birth certificate by going to the office that handles these records in the state they were born in.
The individual must show identification and pay a fee to get a birth certificate. In some cases, the person can also ask to change information on their birth certificate, such as a name or date of birth. This process is more complicated and requires multiple pieces of proof that the person making the request is the correct person.
Convenience of Photocopying a Birth Certificate
Many vital processes like applying for a passport, changing your name, or enrolling your children in school require an official copy of a birth certificate. In some cases, a photocopy or scanned copy is not accepted. This is because a document of this nature should have an original issuing seal or markings that can’t be replicated on a photocopy or scan.
Photocopying a Birth Certificate: Requirements
An authorised copy of a birth certificate is necessary for many applications, including passports, driver’s licenses, social security cards and citizenship services. It can also be used for school enrollment or ancestry purposes. An accurate birth certificate will feature a raised, embossed seal and be made of heirloom-quality paper. It may contain other security features, such as watermarks or special inks. It should always be signed by a clerk or official who is a notary public. If a birth certificate is written in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Fees to Replace a Birth Certificate
The cost of a birth certificate in the UK can vary depending on the region and the method of obtaining it. Here are the general guidelines for the cost of a birth certificate in each region:
England and Wales (General Register Office – GRO):
Standard service: The fee for a standard certified copy of a birth certificate in England and Wales is £11. This includes the cost of postage within the UK.
Priority service: If you require the certificate urgently, you can opt for the priority service, which costs £35 (including postage).
2. Scotland (National Records of Scotland):
Standard service: The fee for a standard certified copy of a birth certificate in Scotland is £12. This includes the cost of postage within the UK.
Express service: If you need the certificate urgently, you can choose the express service, which costs £40 (including postage).
3. Northern Ireland (General Register Office for Northern Ireland):
Standard service: The fee for a standard certified copy of a birth certificate in Northern Ireland is £15. This includes the cost of postage within the UK.
Express service: If you require the certificate urgently, you can opt for the express service, which costs £38 (including postage).
Alternatively, some online services allow you to order a certified copy directly through them. However, these companies require that you submit a valid government-issued photo ID to verify your identity. They also perform an online identity verification of the individual ordering the document, which can be an extra layer of protection for sensitive information.
A photocopy of your birth certificate may seem viable in some situations. Still, it is not an official document and will only be accepted by some institutions for legal or identification purposes. Obtaining a certified copy from the appropriate authority can be a simple process, is usually quick and affordable and provides peace of mind that you have an authentic and legally recognised document.
Birth Certificate – Other Useful links about Business Photocopiers:
A3 Colour Photocopier Prices
Getting the Most Out of Your Photocopiers
Photocopiers For Schools
Remember to Compare Your Business Costs is here to help your business every step of the way, from business advice or saving you time and money on your business purchases such as: