Welcome to the Apostille & Legalization page
What is Apostille & Legalization?
When you wish to use a public document abroad, the receiving country (where you need it) has no way of making sure that the document is authentic and is signed by a public official in the issuing country (where you get it from). The traditional way to ensure this was through Legalization, which is a complicated procedure whereby the authorities of the two countries establish a chain of trust. Basically, each authority certifies that the one before it was truly a public authority with competence to issue the document.
The classical chain of trust is as follows: 1) local official -> 2) Romanian competent ministry or Notaries' Chamber -> 3) Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs -> 4) Consular section of the Embassy of the receiving state -> 5) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of receiving state.
In order to avoid this arduous process, the majority of world countries have ratified the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention. The Apostille is a document which is appended to the original public document, and, in one step, certifies that the public document was signed by a public authority, without the need to go through the procedure shown above. Romania is a party to the 1961 Hague Convention.
Which one do I need?
To decide whether you need an Apostille or a legalization, you need to know the country where you need your document. To see a list of countries which are parties to the 1961 Hague Convention, click here. If the country you are looking for is in the list, then you need an Apostille. If it is not on the list, then you need a legalization. Still in doubt? Contact us!
Are there documents exempted from any formality?
Yes. In some cases, your document will not need any kind of formality. This happens if:
Romania and the receiving country have signed a treaty abolishing the need for legalization (check the list here); or
The document is a multilingual civil status extract, according to the 1976 Vienna Convention on the issue of multilingual extracts from civil status records (birth, marriage and death records) (the State Parties are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy,, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Poland, Montenegro, Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Cape Verde); or
The document was issued a diplomatic or consular mission of Romania and will be used in a country party to the 1968 European Convention on the Abolition of Legalisation of Documents executed by Diplomatic Agents or Consular Officers (check the list of state parties here); or
It is an EU-instituted document (for example the P1 portable document for pensions); or
The document is to be used at an international organization where Romania is a member.
The easiest way? Just Contact Us for any of our services, and we will apply the relevant Apostille or Legalization as part of our service. For information on doing it yourself, please take a look at these pages: Apostille ---- Legalization