Guidelines for legalisation of documents by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (updated December 2022)
Guidelines/brochures | Date: 29/12/2022 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Norwegian documents that are to be submitted to authorities abroad can be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
NB! Foreign documents must be legalised in the country where they were issued.
What is legalisation?
Legalisation means that the Ministry confirms that the signature and stamp on a Norwegian document are genuine, and that the document has been signed by a public official who is authorised to do so.
Legalisation does not entail any validation of the accuracy of the content of the document.
The normal legalisation process:
- The document is certified by a notary public (usually the district court),
- It is then legalised by the Ministry.
- It will normally also need to be certified by the embassy/consulate in Oslo that represents the country in which the document is to be used.
The persons who may be authorised to act as notary public are set out in section 1 of the Act relating to notaries public and section 2 of the appurtenant regulations (forskrift om notarius publicus - only in Norwegian).
What documents can be legalised?
- All original documents that have been stamped and signed by a notary public or copies that have been certified by a notary public.
- Documents that have been signed and stamped by a County Governor.
- The Ministry can certify the signature on documents from chambers of commerce.
- The Ministry can certify the signature on documents that are issued by foreign embassies and consulates in Norway, and only if the documents are to be used in Norway.
- Original transcripts from the tax authorities that have been signed and officially stamped (lion stamp).
Remember to indicate the country in which the document is to be used.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs legalises documents for use in all countries that are not party to the Hague Apostille Convention. (See Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents for an up-to-date list of countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention.)
It is the local County Governor who has the authority to issue apostille stamps. For more information, please go to https://www.statsforvalteren.no/en/. The County Governor can also legalise documents that are to be used in countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention.
Up-to-date list of countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention.
Documents to be used in Nordic countries do not need an apostille stamp. These documents only need to be certified by a notary republic.
My document needs to be translated before it can be legalised. Can the Ministry do the translation?
No, the Ministry does not translate documents for the general public.
If a translation of the document is required by the country in which it is to be used, this must be done by a government-authorised translator. The translation, together with a copy of the original document, must be certified by a notary public before it can be legalised by the Ministry or a County Governor.
You can find a government authorised translator in Translatørportalen.
Can the Ministry tell me whether my document needs to be legalised?
No, you need to check this with the embassy/consulate in Norway that represents the country in question.
Legalisation by the Ministry is free of charge.
There are two ways of getting a document legalised by the Ministry:
- You can submit your document in person during the legalisation office’s opening hours (see below).
- You can send your document by post.
If you come to the legalisation office in person, the principle of ‘first come, first served’ applies. We legalise documents on an ongoing basis as they come in. It is not possible to make an appointment in advance. If you have more than 10 documents to legalise, you may be asked to return the next day or to have the documents sent to you by post.
It is not possible to make an appointment in advance.
Documents that are sent in by post will be returned by post. It is not possible to send documents for legalisation by recorded delivery; they must be sent in the ordinary post. Remember to indicate the country in which the document is to be used, and enclose a stamped, addressed envelope. The address of the legalisation office is given below. NB! To be able to receive your documents per post, you must register your name and address at Posten. You must also mark your mailbox with your name.
You should allow up to 10 working days for the return of your document(s). You will need to allow more time if you have not provided sufficient information about the country concerned or your full contact details.
Documents that are sent with no return address, or that are returned to the Ministry (address unknown), or that are not picked up will be destroyed after six months.
Kronprinsens gate 10, Oslo.
The legalisation office opening hours will be 09.00-12.00 on Tuesdays. The legalisation office is closed Tuesday 26 December 2023.
Seksjon for konsulære saker
The legalisation office does not have a telephone service.