Can a notary apostille a document

Apostille and legalization

Documents that can be certified

It can only public documents authenticated by authorities with an apostille or legalized by diplomatic missions abroad. Public documents are e.g. civil status documents, judicial and notarial documents, certificates from administrative authorities.

To the private documents include, for example, the handwritten will, informal purchase contracts or powers of attorney. In order to be able to have private documents certified with the apostille or by means of legalization, they must be certified by a notary. This creates a public document.

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Documents are issued in countries that are not member states of the Convention on the Exemption of Foreign Public Documents from Legalization of October 5, 1961 are only recognized if their authenticity has been confirmed by the competent consular mission of the relevant state in the country in which the documents are issued (legalization).

The representations of the foreign states generally require that the documents be authenticated beforehand, and sometimes also a final certification. The requirements of the diplomatic missions abroad regarding the type of over- and final certification vary from country to country.

You can find out whether your document requires legalization from the list of countries.

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The apostille has that Convention on the Exemption of Foreign Public Documents from Legalization of October 5, 1961 forms the basis and is a simplified form of authentication.

There is no need for pre-certification by the responsible authorities and subsequent legalization by the corresponding consular representation. Only the apostille is issued by the competent authority.

It only takes the place of legalization in the states that have signed the above-mentioned convention.

You can see from the list of countries whether legalization or apostille is the required type of certification for your document.

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Exemption from the apostille and legalization

There are bilateral agreements between individual states, e.g. between Germany and Austria, or between Germany and Switzerland, according to which certain or all documents are exempt from legalization and the apostille.

You can find out whether your documents are exempt from authentication by referring to the information about the country in which you want to use your documents - see our list of countries.

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Age of the documents to be certified

In Germany, for example, documents from the registry offices are only certified or legalized by the competent authorities and thus also by the consular representations if they are presented a maximum of six months after the date of issue. There are, however, exceptions, such as school reports or court judgments.

In Great Britain and the USA, for example, this is regulated differently. We therefore recommend that you contact us about this.

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Care should be taken when translating documents, as some countries require the translation to be certified in addition to the certification of the document.

If you have the documents translated in the country in which you are going to present the documents, you can be sure that the translations will be accepted.

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