¿Qué es autenticar un documento?

The document authentication is a process that is carried out in order to ensure that the information contained in the document is valid and authentic, i.e. it is a process that verifies that the document has not been modified and/or altered and is signed by an authorized representative.

In this article we will explain why it is important to authenticate a document and guide you through the process.

What does it mean to authenticate a document?

Authenticating a document means validating its authenticity and ensuring that it is a true copy of the original, reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring that the document complies with the established requirements.

When a document is authenticated, a seal or certificate is added to certify its authenticity.

This is especially important when it comes to legal or identity documents, as it guarantees that the document is valid and legally recognized.

Authenticated documents are also used to verify the identity of a person or organization.

It is important to note that authenticated documents are generally binding and can be used as evidence in case of litigation.

What is the value of authenticating a document?

  • Helps prevent fraud.
  • Ensures that the documents are legitimate and not forged.
  • Helps prevent the use of illegal documents.
  • Ensures that the information is secure.
  • Provides an additional layer of security for documents.
  • To protect the interests of the company.

Ways to authenticate documents

There are two ways to authenticate a document:

  1. Documents issued in countries that have signed the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961. A single legalization or “apostille” issued by the competent authorities of the country is sufficient.
  2. Documents issued in other countries: They must be legalized through diplomatic channels.

As an exception, no legalization is required for documents issued in member states of the European Union or signatories of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Likewise, documents issued by Switzerland, by bilateral agreement with the European Union, are exempted from legalization.

In all other cases, documents issued abroad that are to be used in these proceedings must be duly legalized.

When is the Hague Apostille or Single legalization required?

When we talk about apostilling a document, we refer to validating its authenticity so that it can be used in countries that are members of the Hague Convention.

The apostille procedure is necessary if you plan to use the document in a country other than your country of origin, and consists of placing on a public document, or an extension thereof, an Apostille or annotation that will certify the authenticity of the signature of public documents issued in a country signatory to the XII Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, abolishing the requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents to be effective in another country signatory thereto.

Thus, documents issued in a signatory country of the Convention that have been certified by an Apostille shall be recognized in any other country of the Convention without the need for any other type of authentication.

It is important to note that the Apostille is only valid in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention.

Some common examples of documents that may require an Apostille are:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • University degrees
  • Court documents
  • Notarial documents

When is a document authentication certificate required?

If the country where you wish to use a document is not a member of the Hague Convention, you will need to obtain an authentication certificate.

This certificate is issued by a notary and is used to verify the authenticity of a document outside the countries that are part of the Hague Convention.

The process for obtaining an authentication certificate may vary by country and local regulations.

Generally, you must present the original document and a certified copy to a notary, who will verify the authenticity of the document and issue the corresponding certificate.

Generally, a copy of the document is not kept at the notary’s office, however, it is possible for the notary’s office to keep a certified copy of the document for a certain period of time for archival and record-keeping purposes.

This certified copy is used for reference purposes and may be requested by the parties involved in the future if necessary.

Finally, it is important to note the following:

  • That policies and practices may vary by notary’s office and jurisdiction. Therefore, it is advisable to check with the specific notary office where you plan to authenticate the document to obtain accurate information about their copy retention policies.
  • That the certificate of authentication may have different names depending on the country such as “legalization” or “certificate of authenticity”.

How do I authenticate a document?

The process of authenticating a document may vary by country and local regulations.

Here are the general steps to follow to authenticate a document:

  1. Obtain a certified copy of the original document: Before authenticating a document, you will need to obtain a certified copy of the original. This can be done at a notary’s office or an authorized entity.
  2. Check the requirements of the destination country: Find out if the country where you plan to use the document requires an Apostille or an authentication certificate. This will determine the specific process you should follow.
  3. Prepare the document for authentication: Make sure the document is complete and in good condition. If necessary, translate the document into another language and make sure that the translation is also certified.
  4. File the document with a competent authority: Depending on the country, you will need to file the document with a notary public, consulate or government entity. They will verify the authenticity of the document and issue the corresponding apostille or certificate of authentication.
  5. Pay the appropriate fees: You may have to pay a fee for authenticating the document. The amount of the fee may vary according to the country and the type of document.
  6. Pick up the authenticated document: Once the document has been authenticated, you can pick it up and use it according to your needs.

Remember that each country may have specific requirements and procedures for authenticating documents.

It is advisable to investigate and consult with the corresponding authorities before starting the process.

How much does it cost to authenticate a document in Spain?

  1. Authentication of documents: Fees for authenticating documents vary depending on the entity to which the document is submitted and the type of authentication required.
    For example, if you need to authenticate a document before a notary, you will have to pay a fee that may vary according to the type of document and the complexity of the process.
  2. Sole Legitimation or Apostille: The exact price will depend largely on the number of documents to be apostilled and the institution in question that performs the apostille.
    As a general rule, the price can range from €20 to €25 per document.

However, it is advisable to consult with the corresponding entity to obtain updated information on the costs of authenticating documents.

We hope this article has given you a clear understanding of the importance of authenticating a document and how you can do it. Always remember to research and consult with the appropriate authorities for up-to-date and accurate information on the authentication process in your country.