Authentication of foreign and domestic public documents

Find out about the process and the cost of authentication of domestic and foreign public documents such as diplomas, copies of civil status records, various certificates and other public documents

Authentication of a document serves to verify the authenticity of the official stamp and signature on the document, but not its content.

For the use of foreign or domestic public documents such as diplomas, copies of civil status records, various certificates and other public documents in the Republic of Croatia or abroad, it is necessary to legalise or authenticate them.

If you have a foreign public document that you need to exercise a right in the Republic of Croatia, you can use it provided that the document has been authenticated with an apostille stamp by the competent authority of the issuing country.

For example, if the document was issued to you by a Swiss authority, you will require an apostille authentication by the competent Swiss authority.

If you need authentication of a public document issued by a Croatian authority, you will need to request an apostille stamp from the municipal court in Croatia competent for the territory where the issuing authority is located.

If a document was issued to you by the authority of a country which is not a party to bilateral agreements with the Republic of Croatia in legal matters providing for a dispensation from the legalisation of documents issued in a Contracting State for the purpose of their use in another Contracting State, or party to the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, you will need to have it fully legalised in the issuing country.

Full legalization of a public document 

For the full legalization in the Republic of Croatia of a public document issued to you by a Croatian authority and required abroad, you need to:

  • have it translated by a court interpreter in the Republic of Croatia
  • have it authenticated by the municipal court competent for the territory where the issuing authority is located
  • request legalisation of judge's signature and court stamp by the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration
  • request legalisation of the official signature and stamp of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

You need to request all of the above by coming to court or to the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration in person. The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration authenticates documents for use abroad Monday through Thursday, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Should you be prevented from coming in person, you can entrust a relative or a person of trust with the relevant document(s) and have them obtain the legalisation from the court and ministries on your behalf.

Costs

In the procedure of full legalization of a document, the municipal court charges the following fees for authentication:

  • signature or fingerprint – HRK 30.00
  • signature or seal and stamp on documents issued by the state authorities of the Republic of Croatia and units of local and regional self-government, companies or other legal entities – HRK 50.00
  • handwritten document, for each half sheet of the document – HRK 50.00
  • copy of a document, for each half sheet of the copy – HRK 50.00
  • signature and stamp of a permanent court interpreter or a permanent court expert on a translation or an expert report – HRK 60.00.

In the procedure of full legalization of documents, the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration charges a fee of HRK 30.00 for each authentication of the official signature and stamp.

In the procedure of full legalization of documents, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs charges a fee of HRK 55.00 for each authentication.

Fees up to HRK 100.00 are paid in government stamps, and fees above HRK 100.00 are to be transferred to the account of the State Budget of the Republic of Croatia, account number: 1001005-1863000160.

For additional information, please contact the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration on +385 (0)1 3714 000 Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

List of countries for which no credentials are required

Legalisation/authentication of documents will not be necessary for countries with which the Republic of Croatia has signed agreements on legal assistance providing for dispensation from legalisation of documents for use in another contracting state:

List of countries requiring no legalisation/authentication of documents.

Information of the European Commission and Member States of the European Union on the content of the Regulation on Public Documents (Article 21) - joint text

Information on the circulation of certain public documents between Member States

In accordance with the EU Regulation on promoting the free movement of citizens, as of 16 February 2019, certain public documents and their certified copies are exempted from legalization and apostille formalities within the EU.  For certain documents (see in bold below) you can 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 legalization and formalities in respect of apostilles apply only 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. 

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 divorce or annulment of marriage
  • 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
  • citizenship
  • absence of a criminal record
  • standing as a candidate or voting in elections to the European Parliament or local elections in another Member State.

The Republic of Croatia applies the Regulation on public documents to the following documents:

1. birth certificate 
2. death certificate
3. marriage certificate
4. single status certificate
5. life partnership certificate 
6. certificate of domicile/residence
7. certificate of good conduct

8. certificate for the purposes of standing as a candidate or voting in elections to the European Parliament or local elections in another Member State.

Documents under  1-5 are issued by registry offices, document number 6 is issued by police stations, and documents under 7 and 8 are issued by the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration. 

The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration and the Ministry of the Interior are the central authorities for the application of the Regulation concerning public documents on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, each within its legal remit, i.e. for public documents within their respective scope of competence.

Furthermore, on the territory of the European Union, this concerns the following documents:

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

The multilingual standard form may only be used in another Member State and must be submitted attached to the relevant public document.

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 above Regulation and the multilingual standard forms can be found on the European e-Justice Portal:https://beta.e-justice.europa.eu/551/EN/public_documents

Legalisation or apostille authentication of public documents listed in this text is not required for the following EU Member States:

List of EU Member States not requiring legalisation/authentication of certain public documents.

List of countries requiring apostille authentication of documents

Authentication of documents with an apostille is required for countries which are parties to the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents:

List of countries requiring apostille authentication of documents