Rechtsanwältin und Notarin

Nicole Stütelberg

Fachanwältin für Strafrecht

Violenstraße 39
28195 Bremen

 

Attorney at Law

Notary Public

Certified Specialist for Criminal Law

 

Telefon: +49 421 3345666

Mitglied des Vorstandes

Listed as attorney and notary public by the Embassy of the United States of America Berlin and the Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main.

Listed as attorney and notary public by the Embassy of Canada Berlin.

Mitglied der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Strafrecht des DAV und Mitglied der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Anwalts-notariat im DAV

Mitglied der Deutschen Notarrecht-lichen Vereinigung e.V.

General Guidelines

NOTARIAL AUTHENTICATIONS

 

Which country you intend to use documents in will determine the nature of the authentication process that you will have to follow.

 

A fairly simple two stage process can be followed when you intend to use documents in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention dated 5 October 1961, namely the Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents.

 

Where the country in which you intend to use documents is not a party to the Convention the process becomes more complicated as there are more stages that need to be completed.

 

Use in countries party to the Hague Convention - APOSTILLE

 

At the moment the following countries are parties to the Convention:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Colombia, CookIslands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal,Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

 

Documents intended for use in one of the above mentioned countries can be authenticated as follows:

 

Stage one:

The documents are taken to a Notary Public and signed in his/her presence, or in the case of notarially certified copies, the original documents are displayed to the Notary. The Notary will attach an authentication certificate to the documents which certificate will bear the Notary’s signature, stamp and seal.

 

Stage two:

The Notary will then send your duly authenticated documents to the High Court in the area in which he/she practices where the court will attach an apostille certificate authenticating the Notary’s signature.

OR:

In order to save yourself 25,00 € plus tax (which ist he statutory fee for this notarial service), you can go by yourself to the

 

Landgericht Bremen (High Court), Domsheide 16, 28195 Bremen, first floor, room 106 from Monday til Friday: 9.00 – 12.00

 

and apply for the apostille certificate on your own. Estimated time for issuing the apostille certficate is three days. The cost is normally 20,00 €,  which have to be paid in advance at the

 

Amtsgericht Bremen (Local Court), Ostertorstraße 25-31, 28195 Bremen, court cashier, second floor, room 258 from Monday til Friday: 9.00 – 13.00.

 

Once both the Notary’s certificate and the apostille certificate are attached to your documents they are ready for use abroad.

 

Use in countries not a party to the Hague Convention - LEGALIZATION

 

Where the country you intend to use documents in is not a party to the abovementioned convention the process becomes substantially more complicated.

Stage one:

The documents are taken to a Notary Public and signed in his/her presence, or in the case of notarially certified copies, the original documents are displayed to the Notary. The Notary will attach an authentication certificate to the documents which certificate will bear the Notary’s signature, stamp and seal.

 

Stage two:

The documents must be sent to the embassy or consulate of the country in which they are intended for use for their final authentication. It is up to the foreign mission to choose how it shall decide that a document is authentic. If they themselves do not have an up-to-date sample signature or seal from all potential issuing authorities, or do not look at the register of the issuing authority for each legalization, then they will have to develop special procedures. Normally missions will demand prior certification of the document by a German authority, and sometimes further certification, known as validation, is also required. Accurate information on the requirements for legalization and charges can be obtained from the relevant foreign mission in Germany.

 

Prior certification/Validation

For practical reasons, documents are frequently not legalized unless prior certification of the document has been obtained. The missions of the following states additionally require the validation of the document by the German Foreign Office before they will legalize it:
Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Iraq, Iran (only for university certificates), Jordan,  Lebanon (only for school and training certificates), Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Togo. The Federal Foreign Office has delegated the task of validating German documents to the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration) (directive of 21 February 1969). Since transferring this competence to the Federal Office of Administration, the Federal Foreign Office no longer certifies documents. The foreign missions in Germany have been informed to this effect. The postal address of the Federal Office of Administration is: Bundesverwaltungsamt
Referat II B4 50728 Köln. The Office is located in Cologne Braunsfeld, Eupener Strasse 125. The Federal Office of Administration can only validate documents for which prior certification has already been obtained from the relevant agency

Once the stages above have been completed the documents are ready for use abroad.

 

Cautionary note

The information provided above is aimed to be an outline of the general rules applicable to the authentication of documents. Different countries may change their own requirements and may even withdraw from the Convention without publicising same. It is therefore important to verify the applicable rules at the time that you are arranging for the authentication of your documents.

 

It should also be noted that in some cases an apostille, High Court certificate of authentication or any further legalisation is not necessary and authentication by a Notary Public only will suffice. In order to save yourself time and money it is advisable to check with the institution or person to whom the documents will be sent as to exactly what their requirements are.

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