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Authenticating documents

Foreign governments and organisations sometimes require that documents be authenticated before they accept them. In the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we can authenticate documents that were created in Ireland and legalise documents that were created abroad so that they are acceptable for use in Ireland.

In order to obtain a certification of your Irish birth certificate for use in applying for a California driving license, please submit your original birth certificate, your original passport, and two passport photographs by mail or in person to 100 Pine Street, Ste. 3350, San Francisco, CA 94111 with a cover note detailing your need for a certified copy of your birth certificate.

Information on how to apply for a driving license under AB 60.

E-Register Verification of Apostilles and Authentications

The online electronic register enables you to verify the authenticity of an Apostille or Authentication issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland.

Authenticating Documents

Overview

Authenticating a document verifies its origin by confirming that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a document is genuine.

All documents to be authenticated should bear an original signature, seal or stamp from an Irish practising public official or organisation.

When would I need a document authenticated?

If you are going to use Irish documents overseas, for business or personal reasons, you may be asked to have them authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

If you're an Irish citizen returning to Ireland or a foreign national who wants to work or live in Ireland, you may be asked by the Irish authorities to have your documents authenticated by our Embassy staff.

Who can authenticate documents?

In Ireland

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can authenticate documents created in Ireland that will be used in other countries. All documents must show an Irish connection such as an Irish address where the person swearing the document is resident in Ireland.

Abroad

Staff in our Embassies, Consulates and Honorary Consulates overseas can legalise documents created abroad so that they are acceptable for use in Ireland.

Our Embassy staff is also empowered under Irish law to administer oaths, affirmations and statutory declarations.

They can also certify copies of original Irish documents or translations. Be sure to check that photocopies are acceptable to the authorities you’re dealing with.

Remember...

Authenticating a document doesn’t mean that its contents are accurate or that we approve of its contents.

Methods

How we authenticate documents

The three most common type of authentication are:

Authentication

Authenticating a document means verifying that the signature, stamp or seal is genuine.

Apostillisation

Issuing an apostille is another method of authenticating a document, which may be required by countries that have acceded to the Hague Convention. It involves adding a certificate, either stamped on the document itself or attached to it.

Legalisation

Legalising a document means authenticating the signature or seal of a foreign authority or functionary so that it's acceptable to an Irish court.

Remember...

Find out what kind of authentication you need from the authorities you're dealing with.

Documents

Documents we authenticate

  • Original certificates (eg birth, marriage, death)
  • Company documents issued by the Companies Registration Office
  • Documents signed by the Chambers of Commerce in Ireland
  • Court documents, powers of attorney, and other notarial acts
  • Educational certificates and qualifications recognised by the Department of Education
  • Medical reports signed by a doctor who is registered with the Medical Council of Ireland
  • Garda Clearance letters (they must be issued from the Superintendent's Office of the Garda station where you last lived in Ireland and bear an original stamp and signature of the Garda Siochána).

Photocopies

We can Authenticate\Apostille photocopies of certain types of documents provided they have been certified by a practising Irish Solicitor or Notary Public in Ireland. However, you should in the first instance confirm with the authority to whom you are presenting the document that a certified copy will be acceptable to them. 

How to apply

Applying in Ireland

Call to our offices (Dublin and Cork)

If you have a document that was created in Ireland, and that needs to be authenticated, you can call to our public offices in Dublin or Cork. Please make an appointment if you have a large number of documents or a full foreign adoption dossier to be processed.

Dublin

PUBLIC OFFICE ADDRESS:

Authentication Section
Ground Floor
Knockmaun House
42-47, Lower Mount Street,
Dublin 2, D02 TN83

Tel: 01 408 2174

Opening hours

Monday - Friday (excluding bank holidays)

9:30 - 12:30 and 2:30 - 4:00pm

The postal address for applications will continue to be:

Authentications Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 VY53

Postal Address

Authentication Section
Consular Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
80 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2
D02 VY53

Cork

Consular Services Section
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
1A South Mall
Cork
T12 TA46

Tel: 021 4944765/021 4944766

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday (excluding bank holidays) 9:30-1:00 and 2:30-4:00pm

By post:

ALL REGISTERED APPLICATIONS MUST BE SENT BY REGISTERED POST. POSTAL APPLICATIONS TAKE A MINIMUM OF 2 WEEKS FROM THE DAY OF RECEIPT IN CONSULAR DIVISION.

If you're sending documents by registered post, include a brief covering letter giving:

  • your name
  • return address
  • telephone number
  • the name of the country the document(s) are for use in
  • the appropriate fee

Fees

Each Apostille/Authentication stamp is €40, with the exception of documents directly relating to the export of goods, which are €10 each

Adoption Dossiers are €100 for the original pack, regardless of the number of labels required. Additional documents relating to this original pack are free of charge.

Post Placement Reports are €40 for each report (usually up to four post placement reports)

Methods of payment

You can pay by:

  • Cash
  • Bank draft (drawn on a bank in Ireland and payable to the 'Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade')
  • Irish Postal order
  • Credit/debit card

We do not accept Cheques or Electronic Fees Transfers.

Applying Outside Ireland

If you are living abroad and want to apostille or authenticate a document created in Ireland, the process is the same as for people living in Ireland: you have to apply to the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade directly – see instructions above re sending applications by post. This cannot be done via the Embassy or the Honorary Consulates.

If you are living abroad and need to have a statutory declaration or affidavit witnessed, a Notary Public in your area should be able to assist you.