Updated: 28 June 2023
Before accepting various legal documents or certificates that originated overseas, most foreign countries will insist on the document first being legalised with an apostille. This is a procedure recognised by most countries worldwide, whereby the authenticity of the document (but not the truth of the contents) is verified by the authorities in the country in which the document originated.
A common scenario is where a foreign country (e.g. the UK or Ireland) requires an apostille on a document or certificate that originated in Spain. Examples include birth, death and marriage certificates, school/university certificates, powers of attorney etc.
So how do you obtain an apostille (legalisation) on a Spanish document for use outside of Spain? The process is relatively straightforward. There is the option of using an agent, or actually going to the legalisation office in Madrid in person, but for the purposes of this article, we will explain how to apply by post.
N.B. you will need an original (not a photocopy) of the document in question that you wish to legalise. If you do not wish to send the original, then you will need to get a Spanish Notary Public to certify an official copy of the original (‘Compulsa’) which you can send for legalisation instead.
The documents you will need to post are:
- The document in question requiring legalisation;
- A photocopy of your I.D. (DNI or TIE photocard, or green residencia plus copy passport;
- Your contact telephone number (but this can just be written on the ID photocopy);
- You will need to have your return Spanish address available to inform the post office cashier (legalised documents can only be posted back to an address within Spain).
Once you have everything ready, go to your nearest post office (Correos) and request a certified delivery (carta certificada). The address to post to is:
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Union Europea y Cooperacion, Servicio de Legalizaciones, C/General Pardiñas 55 (esquina con C/Padilla), 28006, Madrid.
You will also need to buy a prepaid return envelope (Sobre Prepagado ‘Premium’), so that the Legalisation Office can post back to you your apostilled document.
The post office will then put the original document, copy ID and prepaid envelope to the Legalisation Office in an envelope and send it by certified post to Madrid. The total post-office cost should be in the region of €12.20 (as of June 2023). Assuming that all is in order, you should receive your legalised document bearing the apostille stamp within approximately 2 – 3 weeks.
You can review the full legalisation options and procedure in Spanish HERE: