Sending us documents

How to upload documents

There are two ways to upload your documents: by taking a photo of them or by using a scanner to scan them. Instructions for each are below.

Taking photos of your documents

  1. Use your smartphone or tablet to take a photo of your document. You can use the standard camera on your device, or use a document scanning app.
  1. Keep the paper as flat as possible and the whole page in view. Make sure all the details on your documents are visible in the photo and they aren’t blurry or hidden.
  2. Take photos of all pages and sides that are relevant and save them somewhere easy to find. If you can, give each photo a clear name that you'll remember later.

Scanning your documents using a scanner

  1. You can physically scan your documents using a machine at home or at a public library. All libraries have scanners and the staff can help you use them.
  2. They may email the scans to you as attachments or save them onto a USB memory stick so you can open the files on a computer.

Scan all pages and sides that are relevant and save them somewhere easy to find. Give each scan a clear name that you'll remember later.

Uploading your photos and scans

  1. Make sure your photos and scans are saved on the device you are using to complete your claim application. Emailing them to yourself from the device you used to take the photo is often the easiest way to do this.
  2. In your claim application, click on ‘Choose Files’ and select the photos or scans from the place you saved them. Then click the green ‘Upload’ button. You can select more than one file at once, but it can take a couple of minutes to upload each one.
  3. Your documents must be in one of the following formats for us to accept them: .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf, .rtf and .msg. Each file must be 20 MB or smaller.

You can also upload additional documents once you've submitted your claim. Log in here and click on your claim. On the Claim summary page, follow the instructions in the Supporting documents section.

Posting your documents

There are certain documents that you’ll need to send us by post. These are original or General Register Office certified copies of marriage, birth and adoption certificates. As you go through your application, we’ll tell you which documents you’ll need to post to us, if any.

When you post us a document, you must print the cover note and send it with your certificate. You’ll see a link to access the cover note as part of your application. If you don't send in your cover note with your documents, we may not be able to identify you and this will delay your claim.

Please ensure you clearly state your claim reference number (starting with PB) in any correspondence. We will return all original documents within 14 days.

Proof of identity

In most cases, we’ll be able to verify your identity from the information you’re entering in your application. If we can’t though, we might ask you for extra documents to prove your identity. Examples might include a passport or valid GB driving licence, bank statement or utility bill.

Any General Register Office (GRO) certificates (e.g. birth certificate) must be originals or GRO certified copies sent in the post, following the instructions in the ‘Posting your documents’ section.

Scans of other documents are welcome. These must be readable and show all the information contained on the original, including the information on the back. Follow the instructions in the ‘How to upload documents’ section.
We’ll return all original documents within 14 days.

If making a joint claim, each person must provide separate identity documents.

We accept scans but please ensure these are readable.

To find out which documents to prepare before you claim, listen to podcast episode #39 Mini-pod: What to prepare before you claim