What is the significance of certified letters

Certification of documents for foreign countries (apostille / legalization)

If you want to use a certificate from a Berlin authority abroad, you may have to have the certificate certified, for example if you want to work abroad, get married or adopt a child.

There are two forms of this certification:

Apostille

  • You will receive the apostille directly from us. However, it is only possible for certain countries. (Hague Agreement 1961 - see section "Legal Basis"). Further information is also available on the website of the Federal Foreign Office - see section "Further information".

legalization
  • For all other countries you need "legalization". We will issue you a pre-certification for this. With the pre-certification, please contact the embassy or diplomatic mission of the country for which you need the certificate. The diplomatic mission will issue you the legalization.

Please note:
Some states require additional certification by the Federal Office of Administration after the preliminary certification. You can find out more on this topic from the Federal Office of Administration - see section "Further information".

requirements

  • The document that you need to be authenticated was issued by a Berlin authority.
  • Postal application
    As a rule, certified documents are only sent to an address within Germany.

    Would you like your certified documents to be sent abroad?
    Please note that there will be longer shipping times and additional postage costs for you.

    If you choose to send the documents abroad, the documents will be sent with registered international mail and acknowledgment of receipt. For this we have to charge you the postage costs (postage flat rate):

    • Compact letter = 12.00 euros
    A compact letter is 100-235 mm long, 70-125 mm wide, 10 mm high and weighs 50 g.
    A large letter is 100-353 mm long, 70-250 mm wide and 20 high and weighs up to 500 g.

    As soon as the shipment has been processed and sent, you will receive the shipment number (tracking code). You can use the tracking number to check the shipping status online. The time of delivery can thus be better estimated.
    Binding information as to when the shipment will arrive abroad cannot be given. Please refrain from inquiries and use the shipment tracking method.

    You can find further information on our information sheet (see "Additional information").

Required documents

  • For the certification of documents that were issued in Berlin:
    You must present the original of these documents.
  • For the certification of copies of German personal documents (identity card, passport, electronic residence permit) or of the residence permit issued in Berlin in the passport:
    You can have these copies certified in a citizens' office or at the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
    If you would like to deal with your request at the State Office for Citizens and Regulatory Affairs, please bring the original and a copy of the document with you. Otherwise you will have to pay an administration fee for the reproduction.
  • For the pre-certification of documents or certificates from schools (except for private schools that are not officially recognized):
    Please contact the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family.
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
  • For the pre-certification of documents from state universities:
    Please contact the responsible examination office at your university.
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
  • For the pre-certification of documents from state-recognized private universities in the State of Berlin:
    Please contact the Governing Mayor of Berlin - Senate Chancellery - including the Science and Research Division.
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
  • For the pre-certification of Charité documents:
    Please contact the Charité.
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
  • For the pre-certification of German medical certificates:
    Please contact the State Office for Health and Social Affairs.
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
  • For the pre-certification of certificates from a tax office:
    Please contact the Senate Department for Finance. For more information, see "Further information".
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
  • For the pre-certification of certificates from Catholic schools:
    Please contact the Archbishop's Ordinariate first. Please contact the Senate Department for Culture and Europe afterwards.
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.
  • For the pre-certification of certificates and documents from chambers, for example the medical chamber, pharmacy chamber, chamber of industry and commerce (IHK), bar association, chamber of architects:
    Please contact the respective chamber.
    An apostille / legalization can then be issued by the State Office for Citizenship and Regulatory Affairs.

fees

  • 19.00 euros per certificate / document: apostille
  • 19.00 euros per certificate / document: pre-certification for legalization
  • 5.00 euros per page: authentication for German passports, ID cards and residence permits
  • 5.00 euros: Authentication of signatures
  • 5.00 euros: simple notifications for domestic purposes (e.g. certificates)
  • Additional postage costs when shipping abroad

Average time of processing

  • If you audition in person: happens immediately
  • If you send us the documents by post: approx. 4 weeks (within Germany)
  • If you send us the documents by post and would like them to be returned abroad: No binding information can be given about the shipping times.

Additional information