Sometimes, even when abroad, Germans and foreign nationals may need to have documents certified or signatures/manual signs and copies authenticated by the German Embassy or Consulate General.
German consular officers are empowered by statute to undertake such legal acts for the purposes of German law. Documents executed before a consular officer rank equally with those executed before a notary in Germany. The fees levied are roughly equivalent to those charged by German notaries.
Certifying the correctness of Indian documents
Consular officers certify Indian documents only upon request of a German authoritiy (i.e., Registry Office or Court) or when in connection with a passport or visa application. The most common Indian documents that need to be certified are birth, marriage or school certificates.
As Germany no longer legalises Indian documents, a formal verification process initiated by the Embassy or Consulate General might need to be carried out first, depending on the individual case, by verifying those documents at their source.
The verification fees may range from Rs 2,000 to over Rs 40,000, depending on the complexity of the documents and their origin. For further details, please check the information leaflet according to the German Mission you are approaching:
Legalisation of documents: Infosheet from German Embassy, New Delhi (in German)
Legislation of documents: Infosheet from Consulate Bangalore (in German)
Verification of documents: Infosheet from Consulate Chennai (in German)
Verification of documents: Infosheet from Consulate Kolkata (in English)
Legalisation of documents: Infosheet from Consulate Mumbai (in German)
Certifying a signature/manual sign
The person whose signature/manual sign is to be certified on a document has to appear in person and present his passport or other appropriate photo ID. The consular officer will then witness his signature and certify it on the original document.
Certifying a copy
We can certify copies as true copies of originals/certified copies (by German authority) upon presentation of the original/certified document. A copy of a non-authenticated document cannot be certified.
Translating documents/certifying the correctness and completeness of a translation
German authorities often require translations of foreign language documents. Whether a translation completed abroad may be used in Germany is a question that the authority requesting it decides at its own discretion.
Translations are classified as expert services, not as public documents. They can therefore not be certified by German missions abroad. As the Embassy and Consulate Generals do not employ qualified translators, they cannot offer a translation service either.
Translation services can be undertaken by a translator sworn in or certified in Germany. You may obtain addresses of translators in Germany from German Courts of Law. The Embassy can unfortunately not recommend any translation bureaus in or around Delhi.