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Certification of Signature

Unterschriftsbeglaubigung (Symbolbild)

Unterschriftsbeglaubigung (Symbolbild), © dpa Themendienst

07.04.2021 - Article

With the signature authentication, the notary or consular officer confirms that the named person has signed the document in front of him.

General

Are you supposed to sign a document in front of a consular officer at a German diplomatic mission abroad? German law basically knows two different forms for the creation of public documents: The form of signature certification and the form of notarial certification. A document is signed for both forms. Legislators and case law determine which form is required in which case.

The signature authentication is the „simpler“ form. With the signature authentication, the notary or consular officer confirms that the named person has signed the document in front of him. The signature must be made personally in front of the responsible consular officer or recognized by him. There is no instruction about the legal meaning of the document to be signed. In many cases, authentication of the signature is sufficient for a document to become legally effective.

Examples

Some examples are:

  • Declaration of approval (declaration with which a representative subsequently approves a contract that has already been signed in Germany)
  • „simple“ powers of attorney (revocable general powers of attorney or powers of attorney for individual legal transactions)
  • Entries in the commercial register
  • Declaration to disclaim an inheritance

What documents do I have to submit?

Please note: A signature certification is only possible by prior appointment! You can make an appointment online here: Make an appointment for a signature certification

The appointment allocation system is designed for use on a PC with the Firefox or Internet Explorer browser. With other devices or browsers, there may be errors in the display.

You must provide the following:

  • the document to be signed
  • in the case of declarations of approval: a copy or a copy of the contract already concluded
  • a valid passport (if you are also a German citizen, you must present a German passport or identity card)
  • if you are not in your own name, but in the name of e.g. B. of a company, a ward, etc., plus proof (in the original or certified copy) that you are authorized to represent the company/person

Fee

The fee for a signature authentication is based on the value of the legal transaction for which you need the certificate and can be between 20 and 250 euros. The fee must be paid in Namibian dollars at the embassy. The euro amount is converted for this at the current exchange rate of the embassy. Payment can be made in cash or with a Visa or MasterCard credit card.

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