I am a former expat in the UK. I have returned to the US and now need to refinance the house I bought while in the UK. The UK bank requires a certitfied copy of my passport which would be simple if I still lived there. US notaries will not certify the true likeness of the photograph, only the document. Who in the US can certify this? Can US lawyers, doctors, etc. do the same thing as UK ones?


You really need to ask the bank who they consider an acceptable certifier. To pick an example I used within the last couple of years, the Skipton Building Society lists:

  • Solicitor
  • Chartered accountant
  • Barrister
  • Councillor (Local or County)
  • Justice of the Peace
  • The Post Office
  • Local Government Officer
  • Member of Parliament
  • Doctor
  • Police Officer
  • Financial Services Intermediaries
  • (BFPO) Officer of the armed services

Nowhere do they say it needs to be a British doctor or police officer. I would be very surprised if they didn't accept a member of Congress (probably including State Governments) etc.

However, I repeat - you need to check the requirements of the bank you are using.


It's hard to imagine you're the first person to face this challenge. I'd ask the bank how they've dealt with this issue (UK non-residents selling UK property) in the past.

Failing a good answer, consider sending your passport to the bank by courier (FedEx, DHL, etc), and paying the bank to return the passport to you in the same manner.

  • I don't think using a courier is good advice. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Sep 3 '18 at 19:57
  • It may well be superior to having to travel back to the UK in person to accomplish the physical presentation of the passport. – DavidSupportsMonica Sep 3 '18 at 21:33
  • @MartinBonner, FWIW the UK Passport Office uses DHL to send passports to British expats. – Peter Taylor Sep 4 '18 at 6:29
  • @David Yes - but given there are lots of people who can certify, it seems completely pointless. (Not the down-voter by the way.) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Sep 5 '18 at 7:01
  • @MartinBonner I don't disagree, but who know whether the bank would accord foreign officials the same trust as domestic UK ones. – DavidSupportsMonica Sep 5 '18 at 15:39

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