How to certify a document

During the pension transfer process problems can arise, particularly if you’ve changed your name or your home address. Because of these changes your old pension provider might be keen to double-check your identity, and one of the ways they may do so is by asking you to provide a certified document.

What is a certified document?

A certified document is a document that’s been signed by a professional or someone of ‘good standing’ to confirm that it’s a ‘true copy’ of an original document. Typical certified documents a pension provider might ask for include:

  • Passports
  • Photocard driving licences
  • Letters from a government department
  • Bank/building society or credit card statements
  • Gas, electricity or council tax bills

Who can certify these documents?

Each pension provider will have specific rules on who can and can’t certify a personal document, but generally speaking you ought to find that any of the following can do so for you:

  • Bank or building society official
  • Councillor
  • Minister of religion
  • Doctor or dentist
  • Chartered accountant
  • Solicitor or notary
  • Teacher or lecturer

The person you ask shouldn’t be:

  • Related to you
  • Living at the same address
  • In a relationship with you

Alternatively, some Post Office branches offer a document certification service for a small fee.

How to certify a document

To certify a document simply take a photocopied copy and the original and ask the person to certify the copy by:

  • Writing ‘Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the document
  • Signing and dating it
  • Printing their name under the signature
  • Adding their occupation, address and telephone number

Witnessing documents

To have a document witnessed, simply have someone sign in the relevant section or next to your signature.

The person you ask must be at least 18 years old and shouldn’t be:

  • Related to you
  • Living at the same address as you
  • Have financial or other interest with you

About PensionBee

PensionBee combines all of your old pensions into one new online plan, so it’s easier to keep track of your savings. Use our pension calculator to see how much you should be saving into your pension each month and start meaningfully planning your retirement today.

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Last edited: 11-09-2018

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