Legalisation of documents

The legalisation of foreign public documents is essential for their validlity in Spain. Unless a previous Agreement or Treaty exists that provides exemption, the same will hold true for one of the two following procedures according to which country issues the document:

1. Hague Apostille

In accordance with the Hague Convention, 5th Octuber 1961,the only formality required for documents issued by signatory countries to this Convention is the issuing of an Apostille Certificate by the competent authority for the document in the country of origin and that this would be valid for any Spanish authority. This is the case for some of the nationalities present in the municipality, for example Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador or European Union countries including Romania and Bulgaria. For a complete list of signatory countries to the Hague Convention see.

2. Diplomatic means

This is the procedure used for legalising foreign documents concerning the Civil Registry, the Notary Public and the public administration issued by those countries who are non-signatories of the Hague Convention (as for example in the case of Senegal, China, …). Therefore the document must be presented to the following authorities who will stamp each one in the order indicated:

In country of origin:

  • 1. Appropriate Department or Ministry in country of orign that issued the document.
  • 2. Ministry for Foreign Affairs in country of origin.
  • 3. Diplomatic representation or Spanish Consulate in country of origin.

In Spain:

  • 4. Ministry for Foreign Affairs Legalisation Service in Madrid.

For the last form to fill in a previous appointment, should be requested and then the document should be brought to the following address:

Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación de España
Sección de legalizaciones

Calle General Pardiñas 55 (esquina Padilla).
28016 Madrid.

As well as the option of making a previous appointment, documents to be legalised can be sent by registered post to the same address.

The intervention of the Legalisation Service will not be necessary if the foreign document includes the security label issued by the Spanish Consulate in the place of origin of the document.

It is important to remember that all documents issued in a foreign language must be accompanied by a Spanish translation that can be carried out at:

Further information

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Telephone 913791655