Verification of documents

Content:

I. Public documents issued by Slovak authorities

II. Judicial public documents

III. Public documents issued by other bodies

IV. Forms of legalisation of judicial public documents

V. Apostille authorities of Signatory States

VI. Other information

 

I.​ PUBLIC DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY SLOVAK AUTHORITIES must be formally legalised prior to be produced/submitted in another country either through a process called „consular superlegalisation“ or through certificate called „apostille“. For reasons of simplification, both are referred to as “legalisation” in this information.

Legalisation is not usually required in relation to the Czech Republic. Legalisation of Slovak judicial public documents (subparagraph II) is not required in relation to several other states, if they are to be submitted to the courts of these states. [1]

Authorities competent for legalisation of judicial public documents are listed in subparagraph II and authorities competent for legalisation of other (non-judicial) public documents are listed in subparagraph III.

What is a public document?

Public document is document bearing an imprint of the official stamp of a Slovak authority and authorized official and the signature of the same authority/official. Public documents also include certification clauses issued by public notaries within their competencies according to § 56 par. 2 of Notarial Procedure Code (certifying copies of public documents, verifying signatures of persons on documents). 

What is subject to legalisation?​

The subject to legalisation is verification of the signature and function of the person, who signed the public document, and verification of the official stamp/seal. Legalisation also covers expert clauses and translation clauses. Legalisation does not certify the content or veracity of a public document, expert testimony or translation. If the document bears an imprint of the official stamp and signature of authorized official, it must be legalised.


II. JUDICIAL PUBLIC DOCUMENTS, i.e. documents issued or certified by authorities or officials falling within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice are certified by the following bodies.

A. REGIONAL COURTS CERTIFY  (KRAJSKÝ SÚD):

a. documents issued (or certified) by district courts within the territorial district of this regional court;

b. documents issued by notaries or bailiffs (huissiers) with registered seat within the territorial district of this regional court;

c. documents whose veracity was certified by notaries with registered seat within the territorial district of this regional court (the certified photocopies of documents);

Note: the veracity of the photocopy of a document must be certified by a notary or notary candidate him or herself not by an authorized employee.​

The original document must be legalised by the designated apostille authority according to subparagraph III. In case of absence of the designated apostille authority, follow the procedure according to par. 6 (public documents which do not fall within the scope of any of the designated apostille authorities are to be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovak Republic).

d. documents where the notary with registered seat within the territorial district of this regional court certified the veracity of a persons´s signature;

Note: the veracity of the signature must be certified by a notary or notary candidate him or herself not by an authorized employee.

e. documents which have been converted from electronic form to paper form through a secured conversion by the notary in accordance with § 36 of Act No. 305/2013 Coll. on Electronic Form of Exercise of Competences of State Authorities (Act on e-Government) and Decree No. 331/2018 Coll. The notary´s certification clause of the secured conversion must guarantee that the document contains valid means of authorisation or time stamp;

f. translations into a foreign language made by sworn translators from the list of translators kept by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic;
Note: in case of a translation of a Slovak official document into another language, the public document itself must be legalised by the competent body (as per subparagraph II or III). For practical reasons it is therefore recommended to acquire such legalisation before submitting the document for translation.

g. expert opinions made by experts from the list of experts kept by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic.

Regional Courts do NOT certify:

-  decisions of Regional Courts, Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic and Specialised Criminal Court (these are to be legalised by the Ministry of Justice of SR)

- documents issued by insurance companies (social, health or private insurance companies)

- documents issued by banks or financial institutions

- ecclesiastical documents

- corporate/commercial and customs documents (Art. 1 of the Convention)

- foreign public documents for further use in a third country (such documents must be legalised in the state of origin) 

- photocopies of ID cards (national ID, passport, driving license, driver´s evidence document, vehicle registration certificate, technical certificate for a vehicle etc.) – information from the national ID can be replaced by a certificate of citizenship

- photocopies of translations (only the original of the translation must be submitted and it must be firmly attached to the original document)


B.  The Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic certifies only such documents issued by judicial bodies that are not listed under paragraphs a/ to f/ above (e.g. documents issued by regional courts or the Supreme Court).

 

III. PUBLIC DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY OTHER BODIES are usually legalised by competent bodies within the same government department as the body issuing the public document. Thus:

1. The Ministry for the Interior of the Slovak Republic legalizes public documents issued by authorities within its jurisdiction (e.g. certificates of citizenship, sole proprietor licenses, personal status decisions etc.) unless these are legalised by district authorities (paragraph 2 below).

2. District authorities certify

a. registry office documents (except decisions relating to personal status) such as birth

certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate,

b. public documents issued by self-government bodies (e.g. certificate of life, certificate of

residence – except as regards residence in the city of Bratislava, and the like),

3. The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents issued by authorities within its jurisdiction, in particular documents issued by tertiary education institutions, secondary and primary schools (e.g. diploma, certificate of tertiary education, certificate of passed tests, certificate of grating a scientific academic or artistic academic degree) with the exception of secondary paramedical schools;

4. The Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents issued by authorities within its jurisdiction (e-g. certificate of professional education at Slovak Medical University, certificates of secondary paramedical school graduation)

5. The Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents issued within its jurisdiction (e.g. certificate of military service in the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic).

6. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents which fall outside of the jurisdiction of any of the bodies above (such as extract from the criminal records of the General Prosecutor´s Office of the Slovak Republic, documents of the revenue offices, land registry statements, certificates of the State Institute for Drug Control and others)

 

IV. FORMS OF LEGALISATION OF JUDICIAL PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

 A. Apostille

With respect to States which are Party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation of Public Foreign Documents and which are listed below, the competent body (see points II and III above) shall issue a special certificate - an “Apostille”.

A public document certified with an Apostille can be used abroad without any further legalisation in any State Party to the Convention and before any of its bodies.

Regional courts (Krajský súd) or the Ministry of Justice may place an Apostille only on a document listed under paragraph II above. 

Note: The decision of the court must be signed only by judge, signature of person responsible for issuing of the decision is not sufficient.

Apostille may be issued if the public document is to be used in one of the following countries:

(updated version: https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/?cid=41)

B. Consular legalisation

If a Slovak public document is to be used in a country not listed under point A above, consular legalisation of this document is required.

For judicial public document (paragraph II above) this means that the document must be certified in three stages:

1. First it is certified by a regional court or the Ministry of Justice (according to the competence stated in paragraph II above);

2. The document certified in this way must be then submitted to the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Pražská 7, Bratislava;

3. After legalisation by the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the document must further be legalised by the consular service of the country where the document is to be used. Since not all countries have consular services (i.e. consulates or embassies) in Slovakia, the consular department can provide information on the competent consular service.


 V. FURTHER INFORMATION

As regards certification by the Ministry of Justice, information may be obtained at the telephone numbers: +421 2 88891 549, +421 2 88891 358, +421 2 88891 258 during office hours daily from 9.00 - 12.00.

We also provide information at following email address: civil.inter.coop@justice.sk.​

The administrative fee for issuing an apostille by a regional court or the Ministry of Justice is 10 EUR. The administrative fee for consular legalisation is 5 EUR for the certification of an official signature on the document (for each signature) and 5 EUR for the certification of an official imprint (for each imprint), i.e. a total of 10 EUR when the document has one official signature and one official stamp. 

The fee must be paid in fee stamps - it is possible to buy an electronic stamp at the Slovak Post offices through self-service payment terminals (“kiosk”). The kiosk issues two proofs of payment, one of which must be submitted to a ministry employee directly when verifying the documents. 

Further, it is possible to buy electronic stamp via following site provided by Slovak Post: https://m.ekolky.gov.sk/Login.aspx (this web is available only in Slovak language). In list of services select the following: Ministerstvo spravodlivosti SR / Súdy - potvrdenia, overenia, kópie, apostilla / Apostilla, osvedčenia / (choose one of the following according to the specific situation):

Osvedčenie podľa Dohovoru o zrušení požiadavky vyššieho overenia zahraničných verejných listín (apostille), or

Osvedčenie odtlačku úradnej pečiatky za každý odtlačok (certification of stamp - consular legalisation), or

Osvedčenie úradného podpisu za každý podpis (​certification of signature - consular legalisation).​ 

More information on consular certification at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic may be obtained at the telephone number +421 2 5978 5978 or at the website www.mzv.sk under the headline „Cestovanie a konzulárne informácie – Overovanie dokladov“.


Last update:  15 February 2021

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[1] Some bilateral international agreements of the Slovak Republic do not require legalisation of judicial public documents when submitted to courts or other competent bodies of another State Party to the agreement. Some of these State Parties also may not require legalisation in case of other types of documents or when submitted to other bodies than courts. Information on these agreements can be acquired from the certifying bodies or at: https://www.justice.gov.sk/Stranky/Nase-sluzby/Medzinarodne-pravo/overovanie-listin–APOSTILY/Uvod.aspx

However, the existence of such agreement does not in itself guarantee that a foreign authority (other than court) will not require legalisation of a Slovak public document. Therefore it is recommended to obtain legalisation also in such cases, unless the applicant has information to the contrary from the foreign authority who is the intended recipient of the public document.​​

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