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Population register documents in English no longer need to be legalised between Finland and Estonia

Under an agreement that came into force on 1 July 2012, population register documents issued in Estonia in the English language no longer need to be legalised for Finnish authorities, nor do equivalent documents issued in Finland need to be legalised for Estonian authorities− i.e. an Apostille is no longer required.

In respect of Estonia, the agreement applies to the following documents:

  • Birth certificate - extract
  • Death certificate - extract
  • Marriage certificate - extract
  • Divorce certificate - extract
  • Marriage non-impediment - extract
  • Change of name certificate - extract
  • Population register - extract

Only Estonia’s county governments are able to provide all of the abovementioned documents in English. Population register - extracts can be provided in English also by authorities in the municipalities, the towns and, in some cases, in the districts as well as by AS Andmevara (a limited company owned by the State of Estonia).

In respect of Finland, the agreement applies to the following documents:

  • Extract from the Population Information System in Finland, which can be obtained from a local register office
  • Official certificate issued by the parishes and central registers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church or by the central register of the Orthodox Church, or other certificate based on their member register systems
  • Certificate on the capacity under Finnish law to contract marriage before a foreign authority, which can be obtained from a local register office, parish or central register

An Apostille is still required for documents outside the scope of application of the agreement.

Checking validity of non-legalised documents

Under the agreement, the authorities in each of the respective countries may check the validity of a document issued in the other Contracting State if there is reason to doubt that it is valid.

In situations such as this, the Estonian authority submits a request for verification of a document issued in Finland to the Population Register Centre. Correspondingly, the Finnish authority submits a request for verification of a document issued in Estonia to the Estonian Ministry of the Interior.