The apostille

What is an apostille?

The apostille is a stamp or certificate issued by the competent authorities of a state part of the Hague Convention, for official documents issued in that country, to be presented on the territory of another State part of the Convention. Romania is part of the Hague Convention since 2001.

In other words, when you submit a document in another country member to the Convention, you will have to add an apostille to it.

What is the purpose of the apostille?

  • Authenticating the origin of an official document
  • Preventing the use of false documents

What is the procedure for obtaining the apostille?

This is the procedure for administrative documents issued by central or local public administration authorities, as well as by other administrative authority in Romania that organize an activity of public interest:

  • Place to obtain the apostille – the Prefect’s office
  • obtaining the apostille is free
  • it is performed by the Prefecture of the county in which:
  • The holder of the document or their spouse or a relative up to the second degree has his / her domicile / last domicile
  • Issuer of the document has its headquarters
  • By exception, for the civil status certificates, as well as the criminal records, it is possible to release the apostille to any institution of the Prefect.

Any document that has an apostille will be immediately recognized as an official document and can be used in any other country signatory to the Hague Convention.


What is supra-legalization?

Supra-legalization is the procedure carried out by the competent authorities of Romania, which certifies, for the states that are not part of the Hague Convention or with which Romania does not have bilateral treaties for the mutual recognition of documents, that a certain notarised document is indeed an official document.

In other words, supra-legalization has the same purpose as the apostille – to confirm that the document you are presenting is indeed an official document, but it applies to states that are not members of the Hague Convention.

Who can carry out the procedure of supra-legalization?

The documents can be submitted for supra-legalisation, either personally or through a proxy, as follows:

  • With notarized power of attorney, made by a Romanian public notary
  • With power of attorney drawn up at a diplomatic mission or consular post of Romania abroad
  • With power of attorney made by a foreign public notary, if it is apostilled or supra-legalized
  • power of attorney issued by a lawyer
  • Services agreement, for companies whose object of activity is the provision of services

Good to know! Documents that can be supra-legalized are original documents, certified copies and their legalized translations.

Documents that cannot be supra-legalized:

  • documents to be used in states that are part of the Hague Convention
  • documents issued abroad by the diplomatic missions or consular offices of Romania
  • Documents issued by other states – only documents issued by Romania can be legalized in Romania
  • documents that require the approval by the competent authorities, before being legalized
  • Documents regarding civil status in the old format, either in original or translation – these must be updated by the competent authorities

Documents that don’t require supra-legalization:

  • Civil status certificates, as well as other documents issued by the diplomatic agents of Romania
  • Documents to be used in countries with which Romania has signed bilateral treaties or conventions for legal assistance in civil matters. However, if one of these countries requires supra-legalisation explicitly, it should be done.

    Larisa Caliceanu

    Legal Intern – R&R Partners

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