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The legalization of documents and sworn translations

By 20/06/2013February 27th, 2020No Comments

In this post, we've come up with a summary of the most relevant factors, related to the legalization of translated documents.

The legalization of documents and sworn translations

In this post, we’ve come up with a summary of the most relevant factors, related to the legalization of translated documents.

To start with, we need be clear that legalizations give validity to public foreign documents in Spain and to Spaniards abroad; and asides from a few exceptions, they are always necessary.

These exceptions are found in relation to several agreements signed by Spain, the most relevant of which is the Hague Apostille Treaty, of October 5th, 1961, under which only an apostille is required for a document to be legally valid.

The apostille is a note added to the document, either by attachment or as a seperate page, for which the relevant authority must verify it’s authenticity. In Spain it can be requested on line via the following

In the case of public foreign documents emitted by a non consular authority of a state who has not signed any agreement facilitating legalizations, the Ministry of Foreign State Affairs and diplomatic or consular representation in the State of origin, will be the only bodies who may intervene. If the document in queston is expedited by a duly acredited consular authority in Spain, only the legalization section of Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Afairs and Cooperation may preside over the legalizations.

Depending on the nature of the document in need of legalization, (expediated by the autonomous communities, local entities, embassies, consulars, notary, judicial, merchantile, academic and health and medical based institutions etc); it may be necessary to legalize aditional documents as well as those carried out by MAEC. Now we’ll turn our attention to the issue of translations.


Is it necessary to translate documents in order to legalize them?

In the case of spanish documents, you should consult the legislation of the country where the document is to take effect, although normally, only documents written in the language or official languages of the country are accepted. Likewise, if sworn translations are not valid in themselves, they must be legalized at the MAEC.

In the same way, foreign documentsdue to take effect in Spain must be translated by a sworn translator. The only translations which are to be accepted will be those:

– realized by a sworn spanish translator named by the MAEC.

– considered appopriate for representing spain abroad and legalized by the MAEC.

– realized by the the diplomatic or consular representation of the state in Spain.


We remind you that this post is just a summary provided by NAKOM and does not deal with every factor relative to legalizations. If you wish for more information, consult the following web adress of

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