Embassy of Belgium in Ethiopia
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Legalisation of documents

The Embassy of Belgium in Addis Ababa reserves the right to refuse the legalisation of documents that have been translated in a substandard way from Amharic or English into Dutch or French and for which the content has become incomprehensible.

The embassy does not legalise or certify any document from Belgium (non-marital certificate, marriage certificate, diplomas and degrees from universities in Belgium etc…) in order to be used in Ethiopia. In principle such documents need to be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgium and then by the Ethiopian embassy in Belgium in order to use the documents in Ethiopia. 

However the embassy legalises Ethiopian documents legalised by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (non-marital certificate, marriage certificate, diplomas and degrees from universities in Ethiopia etc…) in order to be used in Belgium. 

Documents originating from the authorities in Djibouti, which have been legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Djibouti, should be legalised by the Belgian Honorary Consulate in Djibouti (Route de l’Aéroport - près du Supermarché Casino, Djibouti. Tel: +253 21 351 065. E-mail: consubeldjibouti@gmail.com. Opening hours: Monday & Wednesday 10-12am).


In order to drive in Ethiopia you have to get an Ethiopian driving licence. Based on your Belgian driving licence, the Ethiopian authorities can give you an Ethiopian driving licence after you have proceeded with the following steps:

  1. Obtain a certified copy of your driving license from the Belgian municipality that issued it;
  2. Ask a sworn in translator to make a translate the document to English;
  3. Present the documents at the “Legalisations” Service of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs in the “Rue des Petits Carmes” in Brussels (open every working day from 09h00 – 12h00);
  4. Submit these documents to the Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels for the legalisation of the Belgian stamps;
  5. Once in Ethiopia, go to the Main Office of the Addis Ababa Road Authority with all the documents in order to obtain your Ethiopian driving license.

General information about the legalisation of documents

A document that is official and legal in one country is not necessarily official and legal in another. Many documents must therefore be legalised if you wish to use them abroad.

The legalisation process involves checking the origin of the relevant document. Legalisation is official confirmation that the signature of the civil servant that has signed a document, or the seal or stamp on the document, is legitimate.

It is not only the signature of the person that has issued the document that is legalised, the process can also legalise the signature of the legalising registrar. Every signature, every seal and every stamp will be legalised by the person authorised to do so and who is familiar with each signature, seal or stamp. This explains why various legalisations are sometimes required, in a specific order.

A country may have signed up to a legalisation treaty that encompasses agreements about how countries accept one another's official documents. Many countries have signed up to the "Apostille Convention" of The Hague of 5 October 1961. With this, just 1 legalisation is required via an apostille stamp.

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