Legalisation of official documents (apostilles)
For a Norwegian document to be considered valid abroad, it must be issued with an apostille stamp. This apostille stamp does not confirm the accuracy of the contents of a document; however, it does confirm that the signature of the notary public is real. This is known as legalisation. The County Governor is responsible for legalising documents for use abroad – that is to say, documents to be used in countries that have ratified the Hague Convention.
Before a document can be legalised, it must first be notarised (i.e. signed by a notary public – a senior state official who is responsible for certain official and legal functions) and stamped with the official stamp of the institution (often a lion). It is important that the name and title are written clearly, with either printed letters or block capitals under the signature.
Documents issued or confirmed by certified translators must be notarised. The same applies to documents that are issued by other private professionals with authorisation from the public sector, for example lawyers, medical professionals and accountants.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) holds an up-to-date list of all of the countries that have ratified the Hague Convention. In addition, UD has information on which documents must be used in countries that have not ratified the Hague Convention. Documents that are to be used in the Nordic countries do not require an apostille stamp. In these situations, notarisation is sufficient.
An apostille is a confirmation of:
- the authenticity of the signature
- the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, and
- the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears
We can only apostille original document(s) or “true copy” confirmed by Notarius publicus. Before we can apostille a document, you need to make sure that the document contains following:
- name and capacity in which the person signing the document has acted – either by printed text or handwritten block capitals.
- signature (with blue pen)
- stamp from the public authority that has signed the document.
You can choose whether you want to come to our office and deliver the document(s) by hand or if you want to send them to us by mail:
If you choose to send them to us, you need to send us following information together with the document(s):
- Which country you are going to use the document(s) in
- Return address
- Your telephone number
If you choose to come to our office and deliver the document(s) please note the following:
- Document(s) delivered before 11.30, can be picked up the same day after 15.00
- Document(s) delivered after 11.30, can be picked up the next day (workday) after 11.30
We can also send the document(s) back to you when they are ready.
If you have a long journey or it is urgent, please call us and make an appointment to confirm that we can help you.