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Certifications of signatures and copies for use in Germany

Foto eines Stempels

Foto eines Stempels, © colourbox

28.09.2020 - Article

German missions abroad can certify signatures and copies, if the document is intended for use in Germany.

By certifying the signature the consular officer confirms that the person indicated in the document signed it in front of them. No advice about the legal meaning of the document to be signed is provided.

Examples of signature certification:

  • declaration of approval (“Genehmigungserklärung”): declaration by which a person approves a declaration / contract signed earlier on his behalf by somebody else
  • “simple” power of attorney (“Vollmacht”): power of attorney relating to everyday legal transactions or business, e.g. revocable power of attorney for a specific legal transaction
  • application for a Police Clearance Certificate (“Führungszeugnis”)
  • declaration of renouncement of succession (“Ausschlagung einer Erbschaft”)

Following a change in the law, the German missions will no longer be able to carry out signature certifications and identity checks in connection with opening a bank account, taking out a loan and similar purposes. Please ask the bank who sent you the documents for information on how to proceed.

The only exception to this is if you are a student applying for a visa for Germany and need to open a blocked account. For this purpose, the legalisation department is allowed to continue to certify signatures and do identity checks.

An appointment is required for all certifications. To book an appointment, please click here.

To have your signature certified, please bring with you:

  • the document to be signed. Please do not sign the document in advance of your appointment.
  • for declarations of approval: the contract which has been signed earlier; for power of attorneys: proof of value of the legal transaction.
  • a valid official photo-ID (e.g. passport, national ID card, etc.)
  • Proof of address, e.g. a household bill or rental agreement, etc.

Fees:

The fee for the signature certification depends on the value of the legal transaction for which the document is needed and ranges between € 20,- and € 250,-. The fee can either be paid in cash or by credit card (Visa or Mastercard only).

No fee is charged for pension-related certifications (please bring the letter from the pension authority “Rentenbehörde” along).

There won’t be a fee for certifications related to German citizenship or for study purposes either.

Certification of Copies

To have copies certified, please bring with you:

  • the original document
  • the copies you require to be certified, and
  • the fee

You will need to make an appointment for certification of copies.

Fees:

The current fee is for certification of photocopies is €10 for the first 10 pages, €1 for each page thereafter. Fees can be paid in cash or by credit card (Visa/Mastercard only).

Honorary Consul in Galway

In general, it is possible to have signatures or copies certified by our Honorary Consul in Galway. Please contact him directly for an appointment and to confirm the fees applicable for your case.

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