Certification & Legalisation

When translating deeds and official documents, an additional certification is often required from administrative offices, authorities, business partners or courts. If you want to use the translation in Germany or other European countries, a "normal" certification of the translation is sufficient. However, if the authenticity of a document issued in Germany or abroad has to be confirmed and presented to an authority, a legalisation or apostille must be applied for depending on the country of destination. Legalisations and apostilles are different forms of authentication of documents. Whether a legalisation or an apostille is required depends on the country in which you wish to use the document. You can find more information on this here.

In the case of contracting states to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legislation for Foreign Public Documents, an apostille issued by the competent foreign authority usually replaces the legalisation process.
We provide certified translations with or without apostille both in Germany and internationally in any language combination. In addition, we support you in legalising German deeds or documents that are to be used abroad.

Certification is carried out with a note from the sworn translator on the translated document. This certifies that the translation is factually correct and complete. Certified translations are handled by translators who are officially appointed and sworn in by a German regional court. If a certification is needed for a non-German authority, the translator usually has to be sworn in by a court in the country of the proceedings The specific requirements must be clarified with the respective authorities in each individual case.

The apostille is also called the "Hague Apostille". This a stamp recognised by all member states. The stamp is square-shaped and has a side length of 9 centimetres. It is usually completed in the official language of the issuing authority. However, it is compulsory for the stamp to read 'Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961' in French. The states determine which documents should be considered official deeds and consequently their authenticity can be verified by an apostille. This includes, for instance, documents indicating civil status, birth certificates, judicial and notarial deeds and certifications from administrative authorities.

Legalisation involves the diplomatic, consular or other authorised representatives of a state verifying the authenticity of the signature and seal affixed to a document. The purpose of the consular legalisation is to ensure that a document from one state is accepted by the relevant authorities of another state so that it is legally valid abroad too. Legalisation is only required if a state isn’t a member of the Hague Convention.

Pre-certification and final certification
A final certification is only needed for German documents and can only be issued by the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne. A final certification can only be issued if a pre-certification has already been issued by the respective district court.. A pre-certification is generally issued by the president of the respective district court. However, it varies from region to region who is responsible for pre-certification in individual cases and depends on the type of document.
You usually receive a pre-certification from the district court, whilst final certifications in Germany are always carried out by the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne. Countries that usually require pre- and final certification are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Iraq, Iran (except for university certificates), Jordan, Lebanon (only for school and training certificates), Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan (Taipei Trade Office, only for documents from the legal sector), Togo.