Certifications of copies of official documents for submission to an authority and for private law purposes

Each authority can officially certify copies / photocopies of documents that it has issued itself or that are intended for its own use.

In addition, the registration authority responsible for the person concerned is authorized to officially certify documents that have been issued by a German authority or copies of which are required for submission to an authority.

Official notarizations are not possible for private documents that are to be used privately. Signature authentication for other purposes or public authentication (ยง 129 BGB), as well as signatures without associated text can be requested from a notary.

Civil status documents or copies from civil status books may only be certified by the registry office that issued the civil status certificate (duplicate or certified copy).

Bring original documents and, if necessary, copies. Coin copiers are available in some offices. Please bring change.


A copy can only be certified if the original was issued by an authority or if the copy is required for submission to an authority.


Copies of:
  • Originals that have been issued by an authority (e.g. state school certificates, identification documents (passport, identity card), certificates of doctorate, nationality, license to practice medicine, etc.)
  • Originals that were not issued by an authority (e.g. job references).
Certification for pension purposes
  • Certifications of originals that were not issued by an authority are free of charge for pension purposes (proof of pension receipt or application required).

Power of attorney

  • Certification is based on a certificate or document and not on a person-related basis, which is why a person not affected can apply for this without a power of attorney.
Section 33 (1) Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG)

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