What is an apostille and what is it used for?

What is an apostille and what is it used for?

The Hague apostille is a method of verification that allows the certification of the authenticity of the documents to provide them with legal validity in other countries. This system greatly accelerates the process of authenticating documents, as otherwise it is necessary to resort to diplomatic entities such as embassies or consulates. However, it must be emphasised that it does not certify the validity of the content, only the fact that it is a real and official document.

The apostille contains the general details of the document, such as the issuing country, the identity of the signee or the institution that issues the document. In some cases, it is also possible to obtain a digital apostille, although it is not as common.

This instrument came into being in 1961 when countries signed the XII Hague Convention. As of this day, the number of adherent countries is more than a hundred, which makes it a widely recognised certificate.

How to get an apostille for a sworn translation

Sworn translators do not have the power to issue an apostille. The interested party should inform themselves regarding the need for an apostille for their documents and attend the relevant institution according to its nature.

Depending on the type of document that requires the apostille, here are some examples of the institutions to attend:

  • Documents issued by legal authorities: you should go to the court clerk of the Government Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the regional government.
  • Documents authorised by a notary public and documents whose signatures have been legitimised by a notary public: the person responsible shall be the respective Association of Notaries Public.
  • Documents from the Central Administration (ministries and their reporting bodies): these should be requested from the head of the Central Section of the Undersecretary’s Office for the Ministry of Justice.
  • Public documents for the other administrations: both the Government Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Association of Notaries Public have this power.

According to the Hague Convention, the apostille may be written in the official language of the authority that issues it. However, its translation is recommended, given that it enables the understanding between both parties and minimises the possibilities of mishaps and misunderstandings arising.

When it is required to present documentation abroad, it is necessary to go to an authorised agency of sworn translators. At Juridiomas, we work daily to offer quality sworn translations.

La empresa Natalia Luque Dios ha sido beneficiaria del Programa de Ayudas destinadas a la digitalización de pequeñas empresas, y personas en situación de autoempleo, en el marco de la Agenda España Digital 2025, el Plan de Digitalización PYMEs 2021-2025 y el Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resillencia de España «Financiado por la Unión Europea» Next Generation EU (Programa Kit Digital)