What is an Apostille and who needs it?

Example of International marriage certificate apostille

Essentially an Apostille is a stamp from a Government office that says the document is real, from a known venue and a proper trained registrar.

When getting married in Denmark you will be issued with an International Danish Marriage Certificate, they are issued straight after your wedding in 5 languages - English, German, Danish, Spanish and French. The marriage certificates you receive are legally recognised worldwide.

Apostilles are typically used for various types of public documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, academic diplomas, and legal documents. It simplifies the process of cross-border document authentication, making it easier for individuals and businesses to use their official documents in foreign countries without the need for additional legalization steps.

Depending on where you are registering your marriage and in which office, they may ask for the full, further, optional level of legalisation available on any document. This is legalisation is called an Apostille. 

There is something called the Hague Apostille Convention, if the country of issue of the document is in the Hague Apostille Convention, which you can see HERE, you will only need the single Apostille legalisation stamp, and not the 3 stamps full Legalisation. Denmark is in the Hague Apostille Convention, so the documents, if requested to be legalised only need the single Apostille stamp.

The Apostille is issued in the Ministry of Foreign affairs, in the country of issue of the document. So for a Legalisation from Denmark this is issued at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen.

The Apostilles have 10 points on them, always in English and the native language of the issuing country (so Danish).

The Legalisation verifies that the document is genuine, original, authentic and is a valid legal and real marriage certificate.

An example of what the Apostille looks like is below - and this is fixed to the back of your marriage certificate.

German border wedding denmark
This is an example of an Apostille from Denmark 

Some frequently asked questions about Legalisations and Apostilles are below -

Marry Abroad What stamps are already on the certificates on the day of the ceremony?

On the ceremony day the certificates are issued signed and stamped by the issuing office (the town hall), this confirms your names, and the date and place of the marriage. 


Marry Abroad What is Legalisation?

When you are planning your wedding in Denmark you may see that there are some terms and words that can mean different things to different people.  When we talk about extra legalisation, we are talking about after the certificates have been issued and if they need an extra verification on them.  Even though the certificate that is issued is a legal document in Denmark in any other country it will be viewed as a foreign document so you need to then make sure that is is accepted.


Marry Abroad What is an Apostille?

The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961, was ordered to abolish the requirement of legalisation for Foreign public documents.  It is an international treaty which at the moment have 121 countries that can then issue documents with an Apostille stamp that allows them to be used internationally between the 121 countries.  Denmark is part of the Hague Apostille treaty.  Therefore if you are using the certificate in another of the 121 countries then it is fully accepted with the Apostille stamp.  To see the list of the other 120 countries please see here.


Marry Abroad Do I need the Apostille Stamp?

If you are using the certificate within the EU, you will probably not need the stamp, some offices in some countries do, such as some German offices and some Spanish offices.. We always recommend that you need as at the office where you are using the certificate.  If you realise after your ceremony that you do need the stamp then we can do this for you no problem.  For use outside of the EU then we again ask that you check with the office where you are registered the marriage for confirmation.


Marry Abroad How can I get my Certificate legalised?

You have two options, and both we can help with.  You can either take out 'Apostille Service' where we will get the stamp for you and we will then UPS it back to your home address.  Or, if you are marrying in Copenhagen you can go yourself to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and you can get the stamp there and then, and we will let you know exactly how to do that.


Marry Abroad Can I get the Apostille Stamp in my country of residence?

In accordance to the Hague Convention the Apostille stamp must be from the country where the document is issued. The Hague Apostille convention link is HERE


If you would like any further information, help or explanation, check whether you may need a legalisation or to get a free documents list if you are looking at getting married in Denmark, please contact us HERE