Documents and copies: Certification
In many areas of daily life, there is a need to certify documents or copies, as well as copies or printouts of documents. The prerequisite for the official certification of documents and copies is that the original has been issued by a German authority or that the document or copy to be certified is required for submission to an authority, e.g. certificates, certificates of approval and notices.
Documents and copies may not be officially certified if:
- neither the original has been prepared by an authority nor is the certification intended for submission to an authority (e.g. so-called "Reich Citizen Declarations and Certificates, Financing Documents, Inheritance Matters"),
- the exclusive jurisdiction of another authority is given (e.g. civil status documents only the registry office, certified extracts from the real estate cadastre - only from the cadastral office),
- it is reasonable to assume that the original content of the document whose photocopy, copy or printout is to be certified has been altered, in particular if this document contains gaps, strikethroughs, insertions, alterations, illegible words, numbers or signs, traces of the removal of words, numbers and characters, or if the connection of a document consisting of several sheets is broken,
- instead of an official certification, a public certification is required, which is drawn up by a notary or a court and cannot be replaced by an official certification,
If the document is not written in German, a certified translation may be required to check the existence of a prohibition on certification. The provisions on the confirmation of foreign documents by legalisation or apostille remain unaffected.
Who should I contact?
The responsibility lies with the municipality, the joint municipality and the city, as well as with each authority within the scope of its material competence.
Which documents are required?
- Proof of the applicant's identity (e.g. identity card or passport)
- Originals of the documents to be certified
- Copies, copies or printouts of the originals
What are the fees?
Fees may apply, please contact the competent authority.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
There are no deadlines to be observed
Citizens' Advice Centre, Citizens' Advice
Text checked by the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.