Legalisation and apostille formality within the EU

Pursuant to an EU Regulation which promotes the free movement of citizens, certain public documents and their certified copies are exempt from legalisation and the apostille formality within the EU from 16 February 2019.

According to the EU Regulation, for some of these documents (see below in bold), you can also request a multilingual standard form to avoid translation requirements and, in any case, a certified translation made in any EU Member State must be accepted.

The exemption from legalisation and the apostille formality only applies to documents and their certified copies issued by the public authorities of a Member State and presented to the public authorities of another Member State. Such are:

  • documents emanating from a court or a court official;
  • administrative documents;
  • notarial acts;
  •  official certificates placed on private documents;
  • diplomatic and consular documents.

Furthermore, the exemption applies only to documents establishing one or more of the facts listed below. Entries in bold indicate that there is a multilingual standard form available for such documents. Please note that not all standard forms are issued in all Member States.

  • birth
  • death
  • a person being alive
  • name
  • marriage, capacity to marry and marital status
  • divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment
  • registered partnership, capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status
  • dissolution of a registered partnership, legal separation or annulment of a registered partnership
  • parenthood or adoption
  • domicile and/or residence
  • nationality
  • absence of a criminal record
  • standing as candidates or voting in elections to the European Parliament or in municipal elections in another Member State

A multilingual standard form can only be used in another Member State and must be presented together with the public document to which it is attached.

Where a Member State permits the presentation of a certified copy of a public document instead of the original, the authorities of that Member State must accept a certified copy made in the Member State where the public document was issued.

More information on the Regulation and the multilingual standard forms can be found in the European e-Justice Portal.