Legalization of foreign public documents is the process by which legal authorities validate the foreign documents by checking the authenticity and quality of the signature on the document.
In order for a foreign public document to be valid in Spain, it must be properly legalized unless it is excused by legal action. Spanish documents must also be legalized to be valid overseas.
In order to facilitate the legalization process, countries have signed agreements to simplify this procedure. The Hague Convention for example abolishes the requirement for the legalization process of foreign public documents for all signatory countries thus replacing it with a common stamp or apostille.
Certified or notarized copies of documents and their originals issued by Public Administration Authorities may be legalized. The following are examples of documents that may be used overseas once they are legalized: birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, scriptures or deeds etc.
Translated by: Katherine Pascal