Standard Official authentication
Official authentications must always bear the original seal and signature of the authenticator. The official seal can be round or oval and contains an emblem. Authentications that only have a stamp containing only words will not be accepted.
If the copy consists of several individual pages, it must be shown that each page belongs to the same document. It is sufficient if just one page bears the original seal and signature, as long as all pages overlap one another (e.g. imbricative) and are stapled and authenticated in such a way that each page bears a part of the original seal.
As regards notary authentications (with string and a seal mark), the original seal only needs to appear on one of the pages of the copy.
The following institutions are authorized to authenticate your documents:
- the schools or universities that issued your documents or the relevant Department of Education in your home country
- the Diplomatic Missions to the Federal Republic of Germany
- the Culture Department at the Embassy of the country in which the certificate was issued
- the public authorities and notaries authorized to carry out official authentications in the respective country
In Germany, any public authority that holds an official seal can carry our official authentications*. These are, for example, Gemeindeverwaltungen, Landkreise and lower administrative authorities (such as an Ortsbürgermeister or Ortsvorsteher, Stadtverwaltung, Bürgeramt, Rathaus, Kreisverwaltung). Courts and notaries are also included.
Public authorities in Germany are entitled, but not obliged, to authenticate foreign-language documents. If you are already in Germany and are unable to find a German public authority that will authenticate your documents, please contact the embassy of your home country.
Kindly bear in mind that translators cannot authenticate any original-language documents, only the translations they have issued themselves.