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There are two different types of :

  • Public authentication:
    Comes from a German embassy or consulate or a notary in Germany.
    (In the state of Hesse, local courts can also issue public authentications.)
  • Official authentication:
    This comes from an authority with an official seal. This means public authorities such as the local administrative office or notaries. Official authentication must have a particular form:
    • It must contain an endorsement confirming that the copy corresponds to the original
    • All details on the official seal and the signature must be clearly legible.
    • If the copy consists of several pages, it must be made clear that each page belongs to the same document. This is done either by appending all pages together and ensuring that part of the official seal appears on all pages (as seen in the top-left corner of this diagram), or by printing the endorsement stamp on each individual page (in which case your name and the document type must be recorded on each page of the original or within each of these endorsement stamps).
    • If the original bears an embossed stamp (i.e. raised on the paper), this must also be mentioned within the endorsement stamp.
  • Tip: Official authentications tend to be more reasonably priced than public authentications. To obtain an official authentication in Germany, we recommend that you go to a 'B├╝rgeramt' (Administration Office for Citizens), since they are relatively cheap and carry out all authentication processes in the proper manner.
  • Most higher education institutes accept official authentications. A small number insist upon public ones. To be sure of which particular type of authentication is accepted by your chosen institute, please enquire at the institute or use the application checklist database if the institute belongs to uni-assist.
  • The institution that issued your certificate can also authenticate a copy of the certificate. This type of authentication is accepted by most German authorities and higher education institutes, but it is not an official authentication in the proper sense.
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