Certification of documents

Follow the certification requirements below, the levels of which depend on where the documents are signed or issued

Legalisation-free countries

only notary certification required

If your documents are from countries listed below, then notary certification of the document is sufficient (i.e. apostille and legalisation is not required).

  • Belgium

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • France

  • Denmark

  • Russia

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Ukraine

  • Poland

Apostille countries

notary certification and apostille required

In case your documents are from member countries of the Hague Apostille Convention, then you need to certify them at the notary and then add an apostille. The document must be apostilled in the country where it was issued.


As of Nov 2020, there are 119 contracting party states to this Convention. When a document has been certified with an apostille, its authenticity is recognised in all other countries that have ratified the Convention without any additional formalities.


List of apostille countries:
Member States of the Hague Convention

Legalisation countries

notary certification and 2-level legalisation is needed

A public document should be legalised if it is intended to be used in a country that has not acceded to the Convention abolishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents and also in a country that Estonia has not concluded a legal aid agreement with.


China, Canada, Singapore and Chile are most well-known countries, the documents of which require full 2-step legalisation.


A foreign document destined for use in Estonia should be first legalised by the Foreign Ministry of the country where the document was issued, and then legalised either by the Estonian embassy in that foreign country, or by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In case the Estonian embassy is located too far from you, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs generally does the second legalisation step itself (without involving the embassy).