Criminal Record Certificates in the EU without Translations and Apostille

9. 1. 2019


Submission of a Criminal Record Certificate can be undoubtedly marked as “evergreen” faced by many EU citizens when dealing with authorities of another member state.

The truth is that nowadays most member states check their own citizens themselves and the respective authorities can thus make their own conclusion regarding the person’s criminal history. However, in case of foreigners the authorities generally ask for submission of a Criminal Record Certificate issued by the state of the respective person’s domicile. Individual member states then often require that such a certificate be furnished with a translation prepared by a certified translator and the so called higher verification, i.e. usually in the form of an apostille (certification issued by a court of the given state, confirming authenticity of the certificate). These factors naturally increase the costs and also the time burden.

A new EU regulation, which will take effect in mid-February 2019,  prohibits the member states from demanding the above-specified authentication, and it will thus be possible to submit the certificate without any further verifications (as if the document was issued by authorities of the country where the document is submitted).

Concurrently with the Criminal Record Certificate it will also be possible to ask for the so called multilingual standard form. This form will include the translation of a Criminal Record Certificate to individual official languages of the EU, and the obligation to submit the translation made by a certified translator thus no longer exists. There will be no additional charge for the issue of such form.

Legislative works are currently underway in the Czech Republic so that it be possible to ask for such multilingual certificates as of the stipulated date.

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