Legalization and authentication

If a US resident needs to have his or her signature verified on a document to be used in Hungary, the following options are available:

1. Legalization of the signature by Hungarian missions in the USA (Hungarian Embassy, Consulates General, Honorary Consulates)

Any Hungarian citizen or foreign national may visit any Hungarian embassy or consulate in person to have his or her signature notarized. In addition to being present in person, a valid photo identification - passport, identity card, driver’s license - proving the identity of the signatory is required for authentication.

2. Legalization by "Apostille" stamp issued by the Secretary of State

In such a case, the notarized document must be certified with the "Apostille" seal by the Secretary of State of the State where the US Notary Public is located. A document certified with the "Apostille" seal, by an international agreement, has the same probative value in Hungary as a document certified as described in point 1, and no further certification is required.


Authentication of signatures, translations, copies

I., Authentication at the consulate

1, Authentication of signature

Personal appearance is a requirement for signature authentication. The application can be submitted by appointment only.

When making the appointment, the number of persons who wish to sign must be indicated. You will be informed of the expected time for the authentication to be completed when you submit your application. In most cases, the legalization will be done right away, but in case of a larger number of documents we may only be able to mail the certified documents subsequently. Processing times may vary depending on the workload at the consulate.

Please note that due to the high number of applicants, the waiting time for the appointment may be long. There is no emergency procedure at the consulate.

In case of legalization of your signature, you have to sign the document in front of the consular officer or you have to acknowledge your signature on the document as your own in front of the consular officer. When certifying a signature, the consular officer only verifies the authenticity of the signature and does not check the content of the document, for which he is not responsible. In all cases, you must prepare the document in advance. The staff of the consular section will not be able to type or print the document you need sign.

You must be able to prove your identity by a valid passport, identity card or driver’s license. Without a valid identity document, we will not be able to carry out the authentication. Copies of documents will not be accepted for identification purposes!

The consular fee for legalization of signature is payable per signature.

If the signature is made on behalf of/as representative of a company (or other organization), it is also necessary to present the company certificate (not older than 30 days).


The amount of the consular fee and the method of charging the fee are set out in the Decree No. 5/2010 (XII. 31.) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Examples of how to calculate the cost of signature authentication:

  • A contract of sale contains two sellers; both of them need to have their signatures legalized; both of them have to pay the specified fee per signatures. If there are four copies of the contract, each of the four copies must be paid separately, so in total fee is payable eight times.
  • If you have to sign several times the same document (for example, on all pages of the contract), you only have to pay one legalization fee. Staying with the first example, if you have to sign every pages of the contract, you will only have to pay once.

2, Translation certification

The Consulate only certifies translations of documents, from Hungarian to English or from English to Hungarian, related to consular procedures to be used in Hungary. As per Article 5 §  (2) of Decree 1/2002 (23.I.) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary on the detailed rules for the activities of consular officers in the preparation of documents and the issuance of consular certificates, the consular officer may refuse to certify the translation of documents not related to consular activities and requiring special language skills.

If you wish to use a translation in Hungary, but it is not related to a consular procedure, you should contact the Hungarian Office for Translation and Attestation Ltd. ( to have the translation certified.

3, Legalization of a copy, making a certified copy

Legalization of a copy: the consular section will certify the copy you have made if you present the original document at the same time. It is important to send us the original document if you are submitting it by post.

Making a certified copy: the consular section will make a photocopy of the original document you have submitted and certify it. When you send your application via mail, it is important that, you send the original document and a prepaid return envelope as well. Please always put a note with your email and phone number on the request.

You can request a copy or a certified copy in person or by post.

If the request is made in person, the Consulate will post the certified copy within 10 days. However, the processing time will vary depending on the workload of the consulate. When submitting the application, we will inform our clients of the expected time for completion of the authentication. In most cases, authentication can be expected on the spot.

Applications in person can be submitted by appointment only. 

Please note that due to the high number of applicants, the waiting time for the appointment may be long. There is no emergency procedure at the consulate.


In case of applications submitted by post, the consular fee can be paid with money order.

Please include your telephone number and e-mail address when sending your application by post. For applications sent by post, please always send the original document.

When submitting the application in person, the applicant's valid ID (identity card, passport, driver’s license) must be presented, and in case of applications by post, a copy of the ID document must be sent.