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Help me certify a copy of my Brit passport in LA!
October 31, 2011 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Which is the best way to certify a copy of my UK passport in Los Angeles?

I need to get a certified copy of my British passport. Originally, the requester asked me to get one from a UK solicitor. But I live in Los Angeles, so the options are either get one from the British Consulate or have my passport certified from a US lawyer (the requester says). The British Consulate option may be cheaper (or even free?? but how long would it take?) but the US lawyer option may be more convenient and faster ( I asked about using a notary but I think they prefer a lawyer). Would a US lawyer even know what to do about certifying a UK passport copy? am I going to have pay the lawyer for their time "researching" the subject? any idea how much it would cost anyway?
thanks very much for any tips!!!
posted by Bwithh to Law & Government (7 answers total)
 
Do you mind sharing who/what you need this for? I ask because I've been dealing with a lot of UK based bureaucracy lately (from Los Angeles) and I've found work-arounds for some requirements like this (and none for others).
posted by crabintheocean at 6:58 PM on October 31, 2011


When I needed some certified copies made in Japan for use in Canada the Canadian consulate were able to get it done for me immediately - I just had to call to make sure the relevant official was in so that they could do the stamping. I would hope that the British consulate would be similarly efficient.

Additionally, I make certified copies of things all the time for use abroad (England, Middle East, India, China, wherever). If it is for something local (Canada) I'll just use my name stamp showing I'm a lawyer. If it's going abroad then I'll put a seal on it showing I'm a notary because that seems to travel better - officials the world over will accept something with a seal. Pretty much every lawyer I know in Ontario is a notary as well because it's a one-time fee that pays for itself very, very quickly and is quite useful.

No idea how this compares with California, but if I were in your shoes I'd google nearby law offices and call a few to see if they can make a certified copy and what they'd charge. I'd probably start at the smaller firms first too.

An employee went to the UK to study. I made certified copies of a bunch of things for him and they were accepted just fine by the relevant authorities.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:02 PM on October 31, 2011


thanks guys!

re:
Do you mind sharing who/what you need this for?

I'm in the process of buying a flat in London. the request is part of making sure I'm not a money launderer or some other type of international man of mystery.
posted by Bwithh at 8:54 PM on October 31, 2011


Ah, thanks. I'm out of my depth there I'm afraid. I will say though that I hate trying to deal with the consulate in LA. Calls go in circles, you always get referred to some UK pay number, and they don't seem set up to actually help or let you speak to a person at all. Maybe it's better if you can go in person, but if there's any other option I would do that first.

Try your bank, they tend to have options available that go beyond just notarization including something called a medallion signature that may not be relevant for a simple copy, but is essentially a guarantee of your signature.
posted by crabintheocean at 9:12 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yes, the bizarre UK anti money laundering requirements… I feel for you.

I have found that solicitors in the UK are a little hazy about who would be the right person to do this sort of thing for you in the US. Some states let notaries certify copies of documents, but sadly it looks like California is not one of them (according to wikipedia), though it looks like they can in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon, so if you're near the border…

A California lawyer might do it, it's worth asking, but I suspect that they may not, though there will be UK lawyers in California who could, if you can find one.

Practically, the consulate may be your best bet if you are not too far away and if none of the other options pans out. It looks like you need to set up an appointment in advance online, so you should get some idea how long it will take once they give you an appointment.

The above advice pertaining to Canadian lawyers is not going to do you much good I fear.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 9:14 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn that was supposed to be a link to the form.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 9:18 PM on October 31, 2011


thanks for the replies!
posted by Bwithh at 4:53 PM on November 1, 2011


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