Translation of official documents, such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, and similar, requires a lot of precision. As these translations will be considered as official documents in foreign countries, they also depend on the requirements of each country.

A court translation is done by a court interpreter, who provides the document with a statement and signature, guaranteeing that the translation perfectly matches the original. Confirmation of the authenticity of the signature is done with Apostille, which is printed, fixed, or attached to the document.

What is Apostille?

Probably many of you have never heard of Apostille. It is some sort of stamp that has been used to certify or legalise public documents since 5 October 1961, when the Hague Convention was signed, and with the help of which the process of legalisation of official documents is much simpler.

By signing the Convention, the signatory states agreed that in order to legalise a foreign document, it is enough that in the state where the document was issued, it is also certified by a stamp called apostille stamp. This significantly shortens the process of legalisation of official documents, but it is still necessary to pay attention to the requirements of individual countries.

For which documents it is required to have an apostille stamp?

The apostille stamp is used for all official documents issued by various authorities of a state, confirming the authenticity of the stamp and signature of the official person on the document, but not its contents.

And on which official documents will you need an apostille stamp? Those are:

  • documents issued by bodies and employees of the state judiciary court offices, the public prosecutor’s office, and court enforcement officers;
  • administrative documents issued and notarized by public notaries;
  • official notes on entries in public books;
  • official signature authorizations on private documents (judgements, birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, certificates of citizenship, diplomas, transcripts…)

Who is competent for apostille?

When you need certification with Apostille, you will need to contact the competent district courts or the Ministry of Justice. There, they will confirm the authenticity of the signature of a judge, notary, court interpreter, or others, who are signatories of the document.

There is one important difference to pay attention to. The signature of a notary can only be certified by the district court that has jurisdiction in the place where the notary is based, while the signature of a court interpreter can only be certified by the Ministry of Justice.

Apostille for court translation

When you need a certification of a court translation, you need to be aware that this is a very precise procedure that can only be done by professionally trained translators, called court interpreters. But before you bring your document for translation, you need to find out if your document needs to be certified with an apostille.

If you find that you need an apostille on a court translation, then you must first certify the original document with the court that issued the document, and only then a court interpreter can translate the document and the apostille stamp for you at the same time.

Authentication requirements vary depending on the state and institution

As some countries have different certification requirements, it is necessary to inquire carefully about this. For example, in some countries, the apostille stamp must be on both the original and the translation. In this case, the Apostille is placed on the original, after which the court interpreter translates the document and the apostille, and then the apostille is also placed on the translation.

In addition, the requirements differ depending on the institutions, so it is necessary to find out in advance whether you need apostille certification only on the original, on the translation, or both.