Legalization validates a foreign public document by verifying the authenticity of the signature and the legitimacy of the signing authority. Legalization does not certify the content of the document.
The Hague Apostille is a simplified procedure that has the same purpose as legalization and is applied between the States party to the Convention of 5 October 1961, which abolished the requirement to legalize foreign public documents.
In general, unless a specific rule provides exemption from this obligation, all foreign public documents must be legalized or apostilled to be valid in Spain, and all Spanish public documents must be legalized or apostilled to be valid abroad.
Only original legalized or apostilled documents (or true copies issued by the same body that issued the original) are admissable. Legalized or apostilled photocopies cannot replace the original document.
The legalization or apostille has no expiry date, but if the document has a time-limited validity, that of the legalization or apostille shall be equally limited.
Legalization of foreign documents at the Consular Office
The Hague Apostille can be done at the following address:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Secretary of State
McMormack Building, 1 Ashburton Place
Public Record Division, Room 1719
Boston MA 02108
Phone 617 727-2836
Legalization of documents issued by the Consular Office
The documents issued by this Consular Office must be legalized by the local authorities to be accepted as valid for their purposes.
Documents issued by Embassies and Consulates cannot be apostilled.
Obtaining an apostille for foreign documents
The Hague apostille is the exclusive competence of the authorities of the country issuing the document. Documents apostilled by the authorities of the issuing country do not require any additional procedure from the Consular Office, and may be presented directly in Spain.
The text of the Convention of 5 October 1961, which abolished the requirement to legalize foreign public documents, together with the list of States party to the Convention and the authorities in each State competent to apostille a document is available at the following link:
In the European Union, Regulation 2016/1191 exempts the interested party from the apostille requirement in certain cases. For more information, consult the European Union information page or the Regulation
Legalization or apostille of Spanish documents
Information on how to legalize or apostille documents issued by the Spanish authorities is available (in Spanish) on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.
The Consular Office does not legalize or apostille documents issued in Spain.