Legalization of documents in Nigeria essentially deals with the certification or attestation of the authenticity of signatures on documents and compliance of same with the laws of a country where it was issued. The procedure of how to legalize documents in Nigeria are usually the same for most documents that require legalization save for academic certificates and transcripts which require an additional step of authentication.

The documents issued by Nigerian authorities and are to be used in any other countries may be legalized in the foreign embassy after notarization and authentication in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria if required.


Foreign embassies often request for the legalization of documents to prove the authenticity of such document. This is usually done so as to prove the genuineness or correctness or validity of such a document to the foreign institution or body that may require it.


The legalization process involves legalizing every signature, every seal and every stamp by a person authorized to do so and who is also familiar with each signature, seal or stamp.

The consul usually testifies to the authenticity of the signature of the official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by signing the document with legalizing inscription.

It is also important to note that documents issued in a foreign language must be translated into English by a sworn translator before it is submitted to the embassy for legalization.

Legalization often varies from the country that is requesting for such document. It is important to note the following relevant information when legalizing a document for use in a foreign country:

  1. The original documents must be notarized by a Notary Public before it can be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.
  2. All scanned documents must be submitted for legalization to some embassies in readable PDF format.
  3. The applicant must ensure that the names on the documents to be legalized are exactly the same names on the applicant’s international passport.
  4. Each embassy imposes a prescribed fee for the legalization of documents
  5. It is not every institution of foreign countries that mandates document legalization before it may be used in their country.


  • Birth Certificates
  • Educational Certificates
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decree
  • Driver’s License
  • Police Character Certificate
  • Declaration of Age
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Affidavit of Spinsterhood or Bachelorhood
  • Death Certificate
  • International Passport among others


  • The first step is the notarization of the document by a Notary Public in Nigeria.
  • Authentication of the document at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja. You will be required to complete the authentication papers at the Legal Services Department of the Ministry and pay the prescribed fee.
  • If the document to be legalized is an examination result or academic transcripts, you must also authenticate the document at the Federal Ministry of Education.
  • The last stage is proceeding to the embassy for legalization.

Finally, it is worthy of note that document legalization can be done by an individual. However, an applicant may also retain the services of a lawyer for legalization. And where an attorney is to be appointed for such a process, the applicant must issue a Power of Attorney to such a lawyer


By Resolution Law Firm. The Firm acts as Attorneys for individuals and companies for document’s authentication and legalization in Nigeria