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Legalization or apostille of a French document for a foreign authority

Verified 17 mars 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Reform of the issuance of legalization and apostille

Order No. 2020-192 of 4 March 2020 reform the issuing of legalization and apostille.

Some presidents of the regional or interregional councils of notaries, or their delegates, will be able to complete the formalities of legalization and apostille on French public acts intended for a foreign authority.

A decree must specify the conditions for the application of this measure.

This page remains current and will be modified as soon as the decree comes into force.

To authenticate a French document intended for a foreign authority, the procedure varies if the document is intended for a country of European Union (EU) or another country. Within the EU, some public documents are accepted without formality of authentication. For other documents or if the document is destined for another country, 3 possibilities exist according to the agreement concluded between France and the recipient country: legalization, apostille, or dispensation from formalities.

For a European country

Certain French public documents intended for an authority of a the European Union are accepted without formality of authentication. Multilingual forms may be attached to some of these documents to avoid having to be translated. Other documents must be apostilled except where an exemption agreement is concluded between France and the country concerned.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Birth certificate
  • Provisional birth certificate following the discovery of a newborn child or ward of the State without a known birth certificate or for which the secrecy of birth has been requested
  • Declaration of birth
  • Supplementary judgment of birth certificate
  • Act of notoriety intended to replace the impossibility of obtaining a complete copy of the birth certificate in the context of a marriage project, issued by the notary or the diplomatic or consular authority
  • Act of notoriety intended to compensate for the impossibility of obtaining consignments of civil status documents whose originals have been destroyed or have disappeared as a result of a disaster or of acts of war
  • Birth certificate of theOfpra
  • Certificate of origin of the prefect to supplement the production of the birth certificate in the absence of a provisional birth certificate and in the presence of a
  • Judgment to correct the birth certificate

A multilingual form can be attached to avoid having to translate these documents. Form templates are available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

In this case, the translation must be performed by a sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The certificate of life may be presented to an authority of a country of the European Union without authentication formality.

A multilingual form can be attached to avoid having to translate the life certificate. The form template is available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

In this case, the translation must be performed by a sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Death certificate
  • Transcript of the death certificate at the home of the deceased
  • Lifeless child act
  • Birth certificate
  • Transcript of the decision of the full adoption as the birth certificate article
  • Declarative judgment of death
  • Judgment on declaration of absence
  • Additional judgment of birth or death certificate
  • Act of notoriety intended to compensate for the impossibility of obtaining consignments of civil status documents whose originals have been destroyed or have disappeared as a result of a disaster or of acts of war
  • Judgment to correct the death certificate
  • Death in Deportation
  • Victim of Terrorism
  • Death for France
  • "Death for the service of the Nation"
  • Certificate of death of theOfpra

A multilingual form can be attached to avoid having to translate these documents. Form templates are available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

In this case, the translation must be performed by a sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Birth certificate
  • Transcript of the decision of the full adoption as birth certificate
  • Adoption judgment on the name
  • Transcript of the operative part of the simple adoption judgment
  • Simple adoption revocation judgment
  • Joint declaration of choice of name by the registrar
  • Disagreement on the name reported to the registrar
  • Declaration of change of name before the registrar
  • Rename Order
  • Decision to change the name of the registrar for compliance with a foreign civil status of the registrar
  • Judgment on the name following a change of filiation

These documents must be translated by sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Act of notoriety intended to compensate for the impossibility of obtaining consignments of civil status documents whose originals have been destroyed or have disappeared as a result of a disaster or of acts of war
  • Additional judgment of birth or marriage certificate
  • Transcript of the decision of the full adoption as birth certificate
  • Certificate of civil celebration of marriage
  • Certificate of capacity for marriage issued by the diplomatic or consular authority
  • Certificate of the notary of the existence of a marriage contract
  • Judgment to correct the marriage certificate
  • Marriage certificate of theOfpra

A multilingual form can be attached to avoid having to translate these documents. Form templates are available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

In this case, the translation must be performed by a sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Act of deposit of the divorce agreement by mutual consent filed in the minutes of a notary
  • Certificate of deposit of divorce agreement by mutual consent
  • Divorce judgment
  • Separation of body judgment
  • Marriage annulment judgment
  • Additional judgment of birth or marriage certificate

A multilingual form may be attached to avoid having to translate the following documents:

  • Divorce decision
  • Separation of body decision
  • Additional judgment of birth or marriage certificate

Other documents must be translated by sworn translator..

Form templates are available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Supplementary judgment of birth certificate
  • Convention Pacs covered by the registrar or diplomatic and consular agents (formerly the clerk of the court)
  • Covenant by authentic instrument
  • Receipt of registration of the conclusion/modification/dissolution of Pacs of the notary, of the civil registrar or, until 31 October 2017, of the clerk of the court
  • Certificate of non-parcels of the Central Civil Registration Service (CESC)
  • Birth certificate
  • Transcript of the decision of the full adoption as birth certificate
  • Death certificate

A multilingual form can be attached to avoid having to translate these documents. Form templates are available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

In this case, the translation must be performed by a sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Birth certificate mentioning the dissolution or cancelation of a Pacs
  • Receipt of registration of the dissolution of Pacs of the notary, of the civil registry officer or, until October 31, 2017, of the clerk of the court
  • Separation of body judgment
  • Cancelation of a Package
  • Certificate of Non-Pacs of the Central Civil Registration Service (CESC)

A multilingual form may be attached to avoid having to translate the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Separation of body judgment
  • Certificate of no Pacsfor a foreign person born abroad

Other documents must be translated by sworn translator..

Form templates are available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Acknowledgement before a registrar
  • Act of recognition established by authentic instrument
  • Act of notoriety establishing possession of a state issued by the judge of the court of the place of birth or domicile
  • Supplementary judgment on civil status
  • Judgment establishing or canceling filiation

Documents must be translated by sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Transcript of the decision of the full adoption as birth certificate
  • Supplementary judgment of birth certificate
  • Adoption judgment
  • Transcript of the operative part of the simple adoption judgment
  • Simple adoption revocation judgment
  • Adoption judgment by the Nation

Documents must be translated by sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Certificate of residence for French people abroad
  • Certificate of change of residence for French people abroad

A multilingual form can be attached to avoid having to translate these documents. Form templates are available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

In this case, the translation must be performed by a sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The following public documents may be submitted to an authority in a the European Union without authentication formality:

  • Certificate of French nationality
  • Amplification of the naturalization or reintegration decree in French nationality
  • Declaration of French nationality with the indication of registration
  • Shipping a court decision accompanied by his certificate of non-appeal
  • Birth certificate with a marginal entry for one of the above mentioned elements

Documents must be translated by sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

No. 3 may be presented to an authority of a country of the European Union without authentication formality.

A multilingual form can be attached to avoid having to translate the nil ballot 3. The form template is available in Annex to European Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 ..

However, the authority to which the document is submitted may request a translation if necessary for the procedure.

In this case, the translation must be performed by a sworn translator..

  FYI : view on e-justice site for more information. You can also view the summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

Different rules apply to other public documents. For example a passport, an identity document.

Different rules also apply to a document issued under private..

According to the agreements concluded between France and the country of the European Union to be addressed, such documents shall be exempt from formalities or apostilled..

You can view summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] to check which rule applies to your document.

The apostille is used to attest the following information:

  • Signature authenticity
  • Status of the signatory
  • If necessary, identity of the seal or stamp affixed to the document

A stamp is placed on the document.

To quote a translation, the following conditions must be met:

  • Translation must be performed by a sworn translator
  • The signature of the sworn translator must be authenticated in the town hall (free) or before a notary (paying)

The translation must be presented with the original document.

Who shall I contact

You must address your request for apostille to the "apostille" service of the Court of Appeal on which the signatory of the act or the authority which has affixed a mention of registration or certification depends.

The application can be made on form or on free paper.

Attach a stamped envelope to your request.

The delivery of the apostille is free.

General case

Consult the form's instructions before completing it.

Request for apostille

Cerfa n° 15703*01 - Ministry of Justice

Who shall I contact

In Paris

Consult the form's instructions before completing it.

Request for apostille

Cerfa n° 15703*01 - Ministry of Justice

For another country

To authenticate a French document intended for a foreign authority, the procedure varies according to the international agreements concluded between France and the country receiving the document: legalization, apostilleor exemption from formalities. To find out which procedure applies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs updates a summary of the rules by country, available on this page.

What is it about?

The legalization of a French document intended for a foreign authority allows the following information to be attested:

  • Signature authenticity
  • Status of the signatory
  • If necessary, identity of the seal or stamp affixed to the document

A stamp shall be affixed to the document.

Legalization is necessary in some countries and for certain documents. Review summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] ..

What documents can be legalized?

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Act of civil status

A civil registration document is a birth, marriage or death certificate.

The document must be original and dated less than 3 months.

It must contain the official seal, the original signature and the name and capacity of the signatory.

To be legalized, the document must be written in French or accompanied by a translation into French.

Translation must be done by sworn translator..

Judicial Act

For example, it is a divorce judgment.

The document must be an original or a copy certified as true by the court that issued the document.

To be legalized, the document must be written in French or accompanied by a translation into French.

Translation must be done by sworn translator..

Notarial act

The document must be an original or a copy certified by the notarial office that issued the document.

To be legalized, the document must be written in French or accompanied by a translation into French.

Translation must be done by sworn translator..

Administrative Act

It is an act drawn up by a French administration. For example, a tax notice.

The document must be an original or a copy certified as true to the original..

The document shall contain the following information:

  • Name, handwritten signature and quality of signatory
  • Seal with Marianne of the administration
  • Certification stamp in case of certified true copy

To be legalized, the document must be written in French or accompanied by a translation into French.

Translation must be done by sworn translator..

Act under private signature

One private document is for example a certificate on honor, a recognition of debts, a contract, an invoice, a letter of recommendation, a certificate of accommodation...

Signatures must be original.

The name, first name and capacity of the signatory must be mentioned in full next to the signature.

The signature of the person signing the document must be certified.

The certification is made by a town hall or a notary in the presence of the signatory.

In the case of a commercial document, the certification shall be made by the chamber of commerce and industry in which the company is registered.

Who shall I contact

To be legalized, the document must be written in French or accompanied by a translation into French.

Translation must be done by sworn translator..

National identity card, passport, family booklet

The identity card, passport or family record must be a copy certified as true to the original..

The document shall contain the following information:

  • Certification stamp
  • Name, handwritten signature, and quality of the person responsible for certifying the copy
  • Seal with Marianne of the administration

To be legalized, the document must be written in French or accompanied by a translation into French.

Translation must be done by sworn translator..

Medical Certificate

The medical certificate must be endorsed by the National Council of the Order of Physicians.

Who shall I contact
  • National Council of the Order of Physicians

    By mail

    180 boulevard Haussmann

    75389 Paris Cedex 08

    By phone

    01 53 89 32 00

    By fax

    01 53 89 32 01

To be legalized, the document must be written in French or accompanied by a translation into French.

Translation must be done by sworn translator..

Certificate of French nationality

The certificate of French nationality must be an original or a duplicate prepared by the court concerned.

Excerpts from criminal records (Bulletin No. 3)

Criminal Record Extract (Bulletin No. 3) must be a moose, bear the official seal and the public signature.

The online application for a criminal record extract (Bulletin No. 3) provides this format.

Online application for a criminal record certificate (Bulletin 3)

Ministry of Justice

Bring an email address.

Decree published in the Official Journal

The decree published in the Official Journal must be addressed by the Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information.

Who shall I contact
  • Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Dila) - Legalization

    By phone

    01 40 58 77 00

    Price of a local call from a fixed position

    By mail

    DILA

    26 Desaix Street

    75727 Paris cedex 15

    Email

    infos@dila.gouv.fr

French diploma

Document must be a copy certified as true to the original..

The document shall contain the following information:

  • Certification stamp
  • Name, handwritten signature, and quality of the person responsible for certifying the copy
  • Seal with Marianne of the administration

Kbis

The Kbis must be an original less than 3 months signed from transplant..

If you have another document to legalize, contact the legalization office by email.

Legalization of a translation

To be legalized, the translation must meet the following conditions:

  • Translation must be performed by a sworn translator
  • The signature of the sworn translator must be authenticated in the town hall (free) or before a notary (paying)

The translation must be presented with the original document.

Who shall I contact

Approach

The process is done in 2 stages:

  • Legalization of the French Act by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (Office for Legalization)
  • Legalization by the diplomatic or consular representation in France of the country in which the document is to be produced

Abroad

Contact the embassy or consulate.

  Warning : an ambassador or a consul may legalize an act under private signature if the signatory of the act resides or stays temporarily in the consular district.

  FYI : view ministry of foreign affairs website for more information.

Cost

In France

Legalization costs €10 by document.

You can pay at the cash counter, by credit card, or by check made payable to "Régie des legalizations (DFAE)".

Payment can also be made by bank transfer.

Abroad

You have to pay.

Check with your consulate or embassy.

What is it about?

Theapostille is a simplified legalization procedure.

The following information can be attested by the apostille of a French document intended for a foreign authority:

  • Signature authenticity
  • Status of the signatory
  • If necessary, identity of the seal or stamp affixed to the document

A stamp is placed on the document.

Apostille can be used for some documents and in some countries. Review summary table of rules by country [application/pdf - 583.2 KB] ..

What documents can be apostilled?

The apostille concerns only public acts.

Most of the apostilities concern the following documents:

  • Civil status document: birth certificate, marriage certificate...
  • Notarial act: attestation, act of recognition...
  • Administrative Act: tax notice, university degree...
  • Judicial Act: judgment, certificate of non-appeal, criminal record extract...
  • Official statement mentioned on private document :: registration details, visa for certain dates, signature certification...

To be stamped, the document must contain the following information:

  • Signature of authority
  • Name and capacity of signatory of the act
  • Seal of authority

Translated Document

To be apostilled, the translation must meet the following conditions:

  • Translation must be performed by a sworn translator
  • The signature of the sworn translator must be authenticated in the town hall (free) or before a notary (paying)

The translation must be accompanied by the original document.

Who shall I contact

Approach

You must submit your application to the "apostille" department of the court of appeal on which the signatory of the act or the authority which has affixed a registration or certification notice depends.

If you request an apostille on a criminal record extract, contact the Court of Appeal of Rennes.

If you request an apostille on a certificate of non-appeal in cassation, contact the Paris Court of Appeal.

The application can be made on form or on free paper.

Consult the form's instructions before completing it.

Attach a stamped envelope to your request.

Request for apostille

Cerfa n° 15703*01 - Ministry of Justice

Who shall I contact

  FYI : view ministry of foreign affairs website for more information.

Cost

The delivery of the apostille is free.