Legalisation of Documents

The Legalisation Unit aims to provide a quick and reliable service to all clients who require official documents to be legalised.


Types of Documents

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion legalises:


  • Original documents that have been issued by Public Entities in Malta such as the Public Registry, Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the Malta Police Force, and the University of Malta amongst others;
  • Copies of documents which are notarised as being true copies of originals by Public Notaries, Lawyers and certified Public Accountants and Auditors, who are duly registered with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion;
  • Translations: endorsement of translated documents will be carried out only if the translator's signature is registered with the Ministry. 



While according to Article 1(b) of The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents (1961) legalisation shall not apply to both commercial and business documents, the latter will only be legalised/apostilled on the premise that this is so required by the receiving state. If the above applies the following procedure should be followed:


  • Commercial documents will be legalised/apostilled upon receipt of the original document signed and stamped by an MFSA official registered with MFTP;

 

  • Business documents will only be legalised/apostilled if the document is notarised by a legal practitioner, a certified public accountant or an auditor registered with the Ministry.



Information concerning the circulation between Member States of certain public documents


Pursuant to an EU Regulation which promotes the free movement of citizens, certain public documents and their certified copies are exempt from legalisation and the apostille formality within the EU from 16 February 2019. For some of these documents (see below in bold), you can also request a multilingual standard form to avoid translation requirements and, in any case, a certified translation made in any EU Member State must be accepted.


The exemption from legalisation and the apostille formality only applies to documents and their certified copies issued by the public authorities of a Member State and presented to the public authorities of another Member State. Such are:

  • documents emanating from a court or a court official;
  • administrative documents;
  • notarial acts;
  • official certificates placed on private documents;
  • diplomatic and consular documents.


Furthermore, the exemption applies only to documents establishing one or more of the facts listed below. Entries in bold indicate that there is a multilingual standard form available for such documents. Please note that not all standard forms are issued in all Member States.

  • birth
  • death
  • a person being alive
  • name
  • marriage, capacity to marry and marital status
  • divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment
  • registered partnership, capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status
  • dissolution of a registered partnership, legal separation or annulment of a registered partnership
  • parenthood or adoption
  • domicile and/or residence
  • nationality
  • absence of a criminal record
  • standing as candidates or voting in elections to the European Parliament or in municipal elections in another Member State

 

A multilingual standard form can only be used in another Member State and must be presented together with the public document to which it is attached.


Where a Member State permits the presentation of a certified copy of a public document instead of the original, the authorities of that Member State must accept a certified copy made in the Member State where the public document was issued.


More information on the Regulation and the multilingual standard forms can be obtained from the Public Registry at Identity Malta Agency https://identitymalta.com/public-registry/?lang=mt



Legalisation of signatures on Public Documents

 

Official public documents that require legalisation must always contain an original signature of a person based in Malta and registered with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion. Documents will be legalised once the signature has been matched with the original signature available at the Ministry’s database.

 

Although the Ministry has a database of signatories at its end, details of signatories cannot be divulged to the public, as the purpose of the registration is ONLY to compare signatures before legalising of documents.

 

Once the authenticity of the signature has been ascertained, the document will be legalised through the affixation of either an Apostille certificate or a Legalisation certificate.

 

Documents destined for countries that have not signed The Hague Convention on the recognition of Apostille certificates will require a Legalisation certificate from the Ministry.

 

Subsequently, this would have to be counter-legalised by a representative of the country where the document is intended for presentation. It is to be noted that counter-legalisations are done at various embassies and consulates in Malta.  In the absence of a diplomatic representation in Malta, documents need to be sent by the client to the Embassy accredited to Malta abroad.

 

Clients living abroad who need their Maltese documents apostilled / legalised are to contact the Legalisation Office for more information on the details below.



Fees and Methods of Payment

 

A fee of €20.00 per document is charged. However, in the cases of personal documents such as certificates issued from the Public Registry or University, a fee of €12.00 per document is charged. Payment may be effected either by cheque payable to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, in cash or alternatively by debit/credit card.

 


Adoption documents

 

Adoption documents are legalised free of charge upon presentation of a covering letter issued from the Adoption Agency.

 


Registering a signature

 

New registration of signatures will have a validity period of three (3) years, starting from the date of first registration. A month before the expiry of this term, each signatory will be notified by an email to renew his/her application unless they wish to have the registered signature removed from the Ministry’s database. Failing to renew the registration, signatories will no longer be recognised for Apostille/Legalisation purposes.

 

Should a professional or any other designated person desire to have their signature registered with the Ministry, they should fill in the Specimen Signature Form. The form can be downloaded by clicking here.

 

The following documentation must be presented upon submission of the application form:

 

  • Lawyers & Notaries – Covering letter, copy of warrant and copy of ID Card. If the person will be signing documents on behalf of the company, the application form should include a covering letter with the company’s letterhead, and signed by the Head of the Company.

 

  • Public Certified Accountants & AuditorsCovering letter, copy of warrant and copy of ID Card.  If the person will be signing documents on behalf of the company, the application form should include a covering letter with the company’s letterhead, and signed by the Head of the Company.


  • Heads of Schools – Covering letter and copy of ID Card.


  • Heads of International Schools – Covering letter, copy of ID Card and Certificate issued from the Ministry for Education and Employment.


  • Consuls / DiplomatsOriginal Note Verbale and copy of Diplomatic Card.


  • Government Officials – Covering letter from direct superior and copy of ID Card.


  • Translators – Covering letter, a degree related to linguistics/translation, and a copy of ID Card. If the person will be signing documents on behalf of the company, the application form should include a covering letter with the company’s letterhead, and signed by the Head of Company.



It is imperative to note that the Ministry will reserve the right to refuse any application for registration of signatures if the applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements referred to above.



Service of Excellence


The Legalisation Unit is committed to a high level of client service. The Unit ensures that clients are:

  • treated with courtesy and respect;
  • assisted in the shortest possible time;
  • given clear and helpful information;
  • answered helpfully and effectively in the event of a complaint.

 

You can help us provide you with a better service by: 

  • checking in which country the documents will be used;
  • providing us with a translation done in Malta when the documents need to be translated;
  • ensuring that the copies have been notarised, if the documents are copies.

 


Feedback and Complaints

 

Your complete satisfaction is essential to us. If you are not satisfied with our service, you are invited to call at the offices to discuss your complaint, or get in touch by post, by phone, or by sending us an email on consular.mftp@gov.mt

 

We treat all feedback confidentially, deal with it promptly, and use it to improve our service.

 

If you would like to lodge a complaint, it is best first to speak to the person who served you. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may call at our office or write to the following address:


Document Legalisation Office

Consular Services Directorate

Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion

18,

Zachary Street,

Valletta VLT 1133

 

We will acknowledge your complaint promptly and give you a full reply within three (3) working days from date of receipt of the complaint. If for some reason a reply is not possible within three (3) working days, we will inform you and give you an indication of when you should expect a reply.

 


Opening Hours

 

Our opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 08:30hrs to 12:00hrs (for ten (10) or less documents to legalise).


For more than ten (10) documents, an appointment should be requested at least two (2) working days in advance by calling on +356 2204 2283. Appointments are set between 07:30 and 08:15 or 13:15 and 14:15.

 

 

© Government of Malta 2019

Address
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion
Palazzo Parisio
Merchants Street
Valletta, VLT 1171
Malta

Telephone
2124 2191

Fax
2123 6604

Email