Simpler procedure for use of public documents from one EU country in another EU country

You may have one or more public documents from a European Union (EU) member state that you want to use in another EU country. Until 15 February 2019 you will often require an apostille for these documents. However, as of 16 February 2019 you can use certain documents in all EU countries and in some territories directly, without an apostille. The documents need to meet certain requirements.

The requirements are listed below. Documents that meet these requirements will no longer need an apostille. If you submit the new multilingual standard form along with your document, you will often no longer need an official translation either.

To which countries and territories do the new rules apply?

The new Regulation applies to all 28 EU countries, plus the following territories: the Azores, the Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Madeira, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion and Saint Martin (the French side of the island).

The documents must have been issued in and must be used in one of these countries or territories.

The new Regulation does not apply to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten).

To which documents do the new rules apply?

Documents must meet two requirements:

  1. The document is a public document
  2. The document is needed to verify certain personal details
    or
    The document is needed for certain elections

What are public documents?

Public documents are official documents issued by a government body or semi-government body. For more information see the examples of public documents and article 3 of EU Regulation 2016/1191.

Which personal data is included in these public documents?

Public documents may include 13 different kinds of personal data. For the complete list, see article 2.1 of EU Regulation 2016/1191.

Which elections can the documents be required for?

You may need the public documents in order to vote or stand as candidate in European Parliament elections or municipal elections in Member States. In the Netherlands, the documents may also be required for water authority elections. For an explanation, see article 2.2 of EU Regulation 2016/1191.

What are multilingual standard forms and what can they be used for?

Multilingual standard forms are translation aids for public documents. The form is submitted along with your document. It cannot be used instead of the document. You can request a multilingual standard form if your public document is not in one of the official languages of the country in which you need it. Standard forms are available in all EU languages on the European e-Justice portal.