The sworn notaries in Latvia are now legalizing documents with an apostille for use in a foreign country

Since 1 July 2019, legalization of public documents with an apostille is a function of sworn notaries. Thus, anyone who needs to submit a document issued in Latvia to a foreign body, does not need to go to Riga to have this document legalized with an apostille. As of now, this service is available at any office of a sworn notary in 30 towns of Latvia. Furthermore, sworn notaries will also legalize electronic documents remotely.

This applies to documents that should be submitted in any signatory state of the Hague Convention on “Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents” (see a list on the homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

What does it mean to legalize with an apostille? 

For documents to have the same legal effect in other countries, existence of the official who signed the respective document in Latvia, as well as the authenticity of his/her signature and stamp should be certified. Only in this case documents issued in one country can be used in another country.

It is important that documents legalized with apostille in one Hague Convention state are also recognized in other signatory states. It means that a document legalized in Latvian with apostille once will be valid in Chile, Greece and more than 100 other signatory states of the Hague Convention.

What documents can be legalized with an apostille?

Working or studying abroad, moving to another country, marrying or divorcing a foreigner, receiving an inheritance or opening a bank account in another country are just some of the situations, when documents issued by Latvian bodies may need to be legalized in Latvia by the state.

This would cover school and university diplomas, birth certificates, statements on no criminal record, marriage certificates, medical certificates about a TB-free status, as well as Powers of Attorney issued in Latvia and used in other countries. All of these documents are called public documents.

IMPORTANT! Before you go to any foreign country, where you would have to submit certain documents, it is always better to find out in advance, if these documents require legalization and apostille.

How does it proceed? 

You have to go to a notarial office together with the original document that requires legalization, as well as your passport or ID card. Usually, it takes one business day to have the document legalized with an apostille, if a sample of signature and stamp of the official, who issued the document, are registered in the database of sample signatures.

In the Republic of Latvia, the legalization of documents with an apostille is carried out only in electronic form. Apostille and the text of a legalised document is available by apostille number or uploading *.asice file.

A notary will not only prepare apostille, but also collect and pay into the state budged a fee for the certification of your document, which is EUR 25.34, incl. the state fee and the VAT.