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Should I register with the Embassy and how do I do it? 

We recommend that you register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP); click here for further information. Enrollment is voluntary and costs nothing and means that we can better assist you in case of an emergency while you are abroad. We encourage you to enroll whether you are visiting the United Kingdom or residing here.  

How do I obtain a criminal record check from the United States? 

U.S. citizens may be asked to present a "certificate of good conduct" or "lack of a criminal record" for a variety of reasons for use abroad or in the United States, including adoption, school attendance, employment, etc. 

Information on applying for a criminal records check is available from the Federal Bureau of Investigation website at   Alternatively you can contact the local police department where you reside or last resided in the United States to request that they conduct a criminal records search and provide you with a document reflecting that there is no history of a criminal record.

Authentication of Police or FBI Certificates of Lack of Criminal Record: 

Documents required for use abroad may require additional authentication.  The Department of State provides guidance on authentication or legalization of documents on their website at

Where can I have my fingerprints taken? 

You should be able to obtain fingerprint cards from your local police department or you may contact the National Fingerprint Centre at New Scotland Yard for assistance.  We cannot take your fingerprints.

Obtaining a CRB check in the United Kingdom. 

There are two ways to apply for a CRB check:

  1. Call the disclosure application line at 0870 90 90 844
  2. Fill out the paper application given to you by the person who asked you to apply

Further information can be found at

I want to marry/enter into a Civil Partnership in the United Kingdom. 

Information regarding marriages/civil partnerships is available from

Do I need to file taxes in the United States if I live overseas?

If you are a U.S. citizen or Lawful Resident Alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.

For additional information, please visit the website of the Internal Revenue Service at the U.S. Embassy London.

Can the Embassy help me find my friend/relative in the United States? 

It is difficult to trace someone in the United States when their whereabouts are completely unknown as there are no central records of names and addresses available to the public. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to provide you with information on U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or foreign nationals who travel to or reside in the United States.  These records are protected by the Privacy Act and cannot be divulged to third parties.

However, there may be other parties that can assist you in your search.  Information on tracing persons in the United States (including through military and religious organizations) may be found on our web site.

We cannot help you trace your ancestry in the United Kingdom.  A list of organizations which may be able to help you trace friends or family is available from our website, here.

 Can the Embassy help me find a friend/relative in the United Kingdom? 


We can assist in locating a U.S. citizen in the United Kingdom in cases of parental child abduction or missing persons cases, or when a friend or loved one has not arrived at a location on the scheduled date and time. We cannot, however, help you trace your ancestry in the United Kingdom.  You may find the information on our website useful.  

Judicial Assistance

U.S. consular officers are prohibited by federal regulation from serving legal process upon foreign nationals or companies, and are not allowed to appoint others to make such service.

We are required to serve certain forms of legal process, such as subpoenas and show cause orders issued by Federal courts,  upon U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are temporarily abroad, but we may do so only in the limited circumstances indicated by 28 USC 1783 and 1784 (see also Rule 45(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure).

To read more about serving legal papers and process go to  For a list of Process Servers in the United Kingdom, click here.

Selective Service

Almost all male U.S. citizens aged 18 through 25, regardless of place of residence, must register with the Selective Service (

Dual nationals (American citizens who also hold a second nationality) also must register, regardless of place of residence.

STEP Program

  • Our free app for smartphones
    Smart Traveler
    The Department of State's App for iPhone and Android, Smart Traveler, invites you to see the world with easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel
    alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more. Click here to get it !
  • Safer Traveller Enrollment Program

    If you are a U.S. Citizen currently traveling abroad, you may wish to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  You can do so through the Department of State's STEP system.