Legalisation

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Guidelines – legalisation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Legalisation may be necessary for an official document to have legal effect in another country.

Legalisation may be necessary for an official document to have legal effect in another country. Legalisation verifies that:

  • The signature on the document is genuine.
  • The person who has signed the document is a public official who is authorised to sign the document concerned (i.e. the signature of a government authorised translator or similar is not sufficient).
  • The official stamp of the government agency that has issued the document is genuine (round stamp with the national coat of arms and the name of the government agency).

Legalisation does not entail any validation of the accuracy of the content of the document.

The normal legalisation process is as follows: The document is certified by a notary public (normally the district court), it is then legalised first by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then by the embassy or consulate of the country in which it is to be used. Who may act as notary public is set out in Section 1 of the Act relating to notaries public and Section 2 of the appurtenant regulations (Norwegian only).

What documents can be legalised

  • All original documents that have been stamped and signed by a notary public or a copy certified by a notary public
  • Original transcripts from a tax office with the official Tax Office stamp
  • Documents that have been signed and stamped by a County Governor

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can certify the signature on documents from chambers of commerce and foreign embassies and consulates in Norway.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs legalises documents for use in all countries that are not party to the Apostille Convention, see below.

Once the Ministry has legalised the document by signing and stamping it, it will be returned to the sender, who must then send or deliver the document to the embassy or consulate of the country in which it is to be used. Most embassies/consulates charge a fee for this service.

The Ministry’s legalisation service is free of charge. If the document is brought personally to the office during opening hours, it will be legalised while you wait. This does not usually take long, and there is no need to make an appointment. Larger amounts of documentation will have to be fetched the next day. Requests for legalisation received by post are returned to the sender by normal post (A-post). If you wish the legalised document to be returned in another way, you must arrange for this yourself.

Simplified legalisation (apostille)

In order to avoid long legalisation processes, a number of countries agreed in 1961 to simplify the process under the Apostille Convention. For a document from one party to the convention to be recognised by another party, it is sufficient for the document to have been legalised by a single public body appointed by the country of issue, and the rest of the legalisation process can thus be dropped. In Norway this body is the County Governor who stamps the document with a special apostille stamp. It is not then necessary to have the document legalised by the embassy or consulate of the country in which the document is to be used. An up-to-date list of the countries that are party to the Apostille Convention can be found here: www.hcch.net/conventions.status.

Contact information

Visitors address:
Kronprinsens gate 10, Oslo.

Openings hours:
Tuesday and Thursday: 09:30 – 12.00 and 13:00 – 14:30.

The office will be closed for the public on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, weekends and public holidays.

Postal address:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Section for Consular Affairs
Legalisation
P.O. Box 8114 Dep
N-0032 Oslo
NORWAY

If you send the document by post, you should indicate in which country the document is to be used, and enclose a stamped addressed envelope for the return of the document. You should allow at least 10 working days for the return of the document.

Telephone: 23 95 02 22
Email: legalisering@mfa.no