Certification by a Notary, Chamber of Commerce, Lawyer or Solicitor

Certain official documents require a certified translation. In Portugal, unlike many other countries where the concept of certified translators is real, the legal system requires a certified translation to officiate the identity of the translator. A certificate will be issued where the translator states that the translation they have provided is fully faithful to the source document’s content. This type of certification is only legally valid for translations that are going to be used in Portugal. The statement that the translation follows exactly the source text, written in Portuguese, is certified and stamped by a notary, Chamber of Commerce, lawyer or solicitor, under the Decree-law no. 237/2011 of 30 August. The certification of the translation gives the translated document the same validity of the source document.

You must be aware that the certified translation may be valid for Portuguese entities, but may not be accepted in other countries. Some countries or institutions only accept apostilled translations or certifications issued by their consulate or embassy, or even by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, services SMARTIDIOM can also help you with.

If you intend to have your translation certified by these entities, SMARTIDIOM can take care of the whole process for you, from the translation of the document to its certification. This means you don’t have to worry with any bureaucracy or travelling. You only need to send us your source document and we produce a certified translation that you can fully trust.


The translation of official documents such as government-issued IDs, certificates, driver’s licences or contracts may require a different type of certification, according to the country where you will be presenting them. In some cases, along with the certification by a notary, Chamber of Commerce, lawyer or solicitor, you may be asked to legalise your document by apostille. This happens if you want to present your translated document in one of the countries that have signed the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. The apostille must be issued by the Attorney General’s Office, according to the Decree-law no. 48450 of 24 June 1968.

The countries that are party to the convention are:


Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States of America, Grenada, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis , Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.


Australia, Brunei, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macao, Mongolia, Niue, Kyrgyzstan, Samoa, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

Middle East

Bahrain, Oman.


Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldavia, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Ukraine.


South Africa, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Mauritius, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Swaziland.

Certification by the Consulate/Embassy

For any country that hasn’t signed the Hague Convention, you need to check in the target country which type of legalisation is required. You should contact the institution you are going to present the document to and ask what kind of certificate you should deliver to them. Some countries, for example, only accept translations certified by the corresponding consulate and embassy.

Documents that may require certification:

  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Government-issued IDs
  • Death certificates
  • Qualification certificates
  • Contracts
  • Diplomas
  • Notary deeds
  • Invoices
  • Licenses
  • Criminal records
  • Medical leaves or reports
  • Finance reports
  • Decrees of divorce

Do you need help with your certified translation?

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