How to Have my Documents Legalised and Translated in Romania
Taking trips and making transactions internationally means you will often need to communicate with people from different backgrounds and languages. These transactions often require the exchange of important documentation. For these documents to be useful in other countries, you must translate or legalise them, or a combination of the two. Translation and legalisation ensures they are recognised and valid where you are going. If you are in Romania and need to authenticate documents to be used in a foreign country or if you are visiting Romania from another country, understanding the process of translating and legalising documents is necessary. Today’s guide will walk you through the steps to getting your documents legalised in and for Romania.
About Legalization in Romania
Document legalisation is the process of authenticating a document to ensure its legal recognition and acceptance in a foreign country. It involves obtaining official verification to confirm the document's authenticity, the authority of the issuing entity, and compliance with legal requirements. There are two main ways documents are legalised in Romania: Apostilles and Consular Legalisations.
Apostilles in Romania
An apostille or Hague Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin and legitimacy of a public document, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or court documents, for use in foreign countries. In simpler terms, if a document from Romania has a Hague apostille, it means it has been verified and authenticated as a legitimate and official document according to international standards outlined in the Hague Convention of 1961. This eliminates the need for further certification or legalisation when it crosses international borders.
The Nation of Romania is one of the 124 countries that adhere to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, which recognises and issues apostilles. The Hague apostille in Romania comes in the form of a printed sticker with a handwritten signature of an official, an official seal, and a hologram on it. The apostille will prominently display Romania and will include a Romanian national symbol. It will have a title or heading indicating that it is an apostille or authentication certificate. The apostille will contain specific information about the document being authenticated, such as the type of document, its date, and any other relevant details.
Bodies That can Issue an Apostille in Romania
In Romania, the body responsible for issuing apostilles depends on the type of document you wish to legalise and which institution issued the document to you. These include:
1. Tribunals: There are 42 Romanian Tribunals and they issue apostilles to judicial documents such as:
- Court decisions.
- Documents issued by a bailiff (Executor Judecatoresc).
- Documents issued by the Commercial Registry Office (Oficiul Registrului Comertului).
2. The Chambers of Public Notaries: There are 15 Romanian Chambers of Public Notaries and they issue apostilles to notary documents such as:
- Authentic instruments.
- Documents with a certified date by the notary ('cu data certa').
- Documents with a legalised signature by the notary.
- Legalised translations.
3. The Offices of the Prefect: There are 42 Romanian Offices of the Prefect and they issue apostilles to administrative documents such as:
- Civil status records.
- Name records.
- Family records.
- Criminal records.
- Fiscal and tax records.
- Educational records.
- Professional records.
- Religious records.
- Extracts and certificates from other public records.
- Any other legal public document.
Consular legalisation is simply the process of verifying or certifying legal documents so they can be recognised and accepted by the legal system of another country. This process is conducted by the diplomatic or consular mission (embassy or consulate) of the destination country where the document is intended to be used in Romania.
Consular legalisation is usually used between States which are not members of the Hague Convention, or where one of the States has protested the accession of the other.
It is more expensive, and time-consuming than a Hague apostille procedure as various inland authorities and a diplomatic mission of the destination country will be involved in the process. It takes several pre-certifications before your document can be certified at the embassy or consulate of the destination country in Romania.
Types of Documents That can be Legalised in Romania
- Public Documents: Documents issued by public authorities, such as birth, marriage, and death certificates.
- Notarial Acts: Documents certified by a notary public, including powers of attorney, declarations, and notarized contracts.
- Educational Documents: Academic certificates, diplomas, and transcripts issued by recognised educational institutions.
- Court Documents: Judgments, decisions, and other legal documents issued by courts or tribunals.
- Administrative Documents: Documents of an administrative nature, such as certificates of good conduct or residency.
- Commercial Documents: Extracts from commercial registers, business contracts, and other commercial documents.
- Legalisations and Authentications: Documents that have undergone the legalisation or authentication process by the competent authorities.
- Translations by court interpreters: Documents that have been translated from one language to the other by court interpreters.
Types of Documents That Cannot be Legalised in Romania
- Personal Correspondence or Documents not Issued by Competent Authorities: Private contracts, private letters, personal notes, emails between individuals, or documents issued by non-official entities.
- Commercial Documents: Documents such as invoices, trade contracts, and customs documents.
- Diplomatic and Consular Documents.
- ID Cards: National IDs, work IDs, etc.
- Educational Documents from Private Institutions or Entities that are not Recognised as Public Institutions.
- Documents with Forged Signatures or False Information: Any document that has forged signatures or contains false information is not eligible for apostille in Romania.
How to Legalise Your Documents in Romania
1. Confirm if the Document Needs an Apostille or a Consular Legalisation: Your document will only need a Hague apostille if you intend to use it in a country that is party to the 1961 Apostille Convention. It will need Consular legalisation if it is to be used in a country that is not part of the Hague Apostille Convention.
On the other hand, your document will not need an apostille or consular legalisation if:
- Romania and your country have signed a treaty that ended the need for legalisation.
- The document you wish to legalise is a multilingual civil status extract (a document that provides information about your civil status such as birth, marriage, or death, in multiple languages) according to the 1976 Vienna Convention and is to be used in a state that accepts such a document.
- The document has been authenticated or certified by an official representative such as a diplomat or consular officer of a country that is part of the convention.
- It is an EU-instituted document.
- The document is to be used at an international organisation where Romania is a member.
2. Get the Oversight Authority Certification: Some documents may still need additional visa certification before they can be legalised. Here are the most important types and where to obtain this visa:
- Academic documents for primary and high school - the county/Bucharest School Inspectorate.
- Academic documents for University, Master's or PhDs- the Ministry of Education.
- Medical documents - the Public Health Directorate of Bucharest or the relevant county.
- Religious documents - the State Secretariat for Rites.
- Employment attestations (for pension purposes) - the National Pension House.
- Notary documents - the competent Chamber of Notaries and the Ministry of Justice.
- Court documents, documents issued by bailiffs, documents from the Commercial Register - the Ministry of Justice.
2. Translate Your Documents: If a translation is required for your document, you should get a skilled certified translation service in Romania to accurately translate it to the language of the receiving country. Here’s how to go about it:
- Go to the Translayte website.
- Click on “Order Certified Translation”.
- Select “Certified Translation”, the language you are translating from and translating into, and then select your expected turnover time.
- Upload the document you want to translate. Ensure the file is named correctly.
- Select either the Standard, Professional or Specialist document translation services, based on your needs and budget.
- Select a certification type and any other specifications you would prefer for your document.
- Place your order and wait for your document translation. Your translation will be delivered to you either by email or by post on or before the stipulated time.
3. Get the Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The next step is to go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after you have gotten the relevant attestations. You can find it at 24 Aleea Alexandru Str., Bucharest. They are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00pm - 4:-400pm, after a one-hour break. When visiting, go with the following documents:
- The official request form
- Your original documents, and photocopy
- Your international passport and a photocopy
- Proof of tax payments
You will get the apostille done instantly and for free!
4. Get further Legalisation from the receiving country's diplomatic or consular office (for consular legalisation): The final step is to go to the diplomatic or consular office of the country where you intend to use the document and get further legalisation. Each country is different and has its requirements for this step so do well to confirm these requirements.
Some countries' embassies and consulates are not located in Bucharest. To get a legalisation from them, you need to go to the country where they are located. In some cases, there could be no Bucharest consulate at all. In this case, you will need to go through a country that maintains diplomatic and consular relations with both Romania, and the country where your document is needed.
Getting an Apostille for Documents Going to Romania
What is an Apostille for Romania?
An apostille for Romania is the process of legalizing documents that will be used in Romania. Authorities such as Notaries, or the Embassy do the attestation of documents, however, the final attestation is done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
How to Apostille Documents Going to Romania
Identify the Competent Authority: The competent authority responsible for issuing apostilles in most countries is usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If it is a different authority, make sure you identify them.
Prepare Your Documents: Ensure that your documents are in order and meet any requirements set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country. This usually includes notarisation, translations or other authentication steps. The documents you will be expected to take along with you include:
- The documents to be legalised.
- A national identification like an international passport.
- Photocopies of your documents.
- Proof of payment of legalisation fees.
- A filled application form.
Submit the Documents: Submit your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with any required fees set by your country. This can often be done in person or through their designated channels.
Wait for Processing: Wait for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to process your request. Processing times for every country is different, so it's advisable to check with them for an estimate.
Receive the Apostilled Documents: Once the apostille is issued, you can either pick up the documents in person or have them mailed to you, depending on the options provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country. Before traveling to Romania, ensure that the apostille has been properly affixed and is in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Apostille Convention.
How Long is an Apostille Valid for?
Apostilles do not have a validity period, as they don’t have expiration dates.
What is a Sworn Translation in Romania?
In Romania, a sworn translation is known as a "traducere autorizată" or "traducere legalizată." It refers to a translation that has been certified by a sworn translator, who is authorized by the Ministry of Justice in Romania. These translators are officially recognized by the Romanian authorities to provide translations that are considered accurate and reliable.
Does the Translation Also Have to be Apostillised?
Yes, the certified translation from Romania has to be certified by an apostille because many countries may not accept certified translations if they are not properly authenticated.