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In­for­ma­tion sheet on ap­pli­ca­tions for of­fi­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion

Of­fi­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for the pur­pos­es of leg­is­la­tion of a Ger­man cer­tifi­cate for pre­sen­ta­tion out­side Ger­many (see list of coun­tries)


In or­der to have a Ger­man of­fi­cial doc­u­ment of­fi­cial­ly cer­ti­fied, the first step re­quires pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion con­firms the au­then­tic­i­ty of the sig­na­ture and the seal of the is­suer of a Ger­man of­fi­cial doc­u­ment, as well as gen­er­al­ly the ca­pac­i­ty in which the sig­na­to­ry han­dled the doc­u­ment. Doc­u­ments for which the pre-cer­ti­fi­er does not con­firm the au­then­tic­i­ty of the sig­na­ture of the is­suer can­not be of­fi­cial­ly cer­ti­fied by the Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion! The on­ly ex­cep­tion to this is orig­i­nat­ing prod­ucts, com­mer­cial in­voic­es or pure prod­uct de­scrip­tions and pack­ing lists, for which the con­tent has been in­spect­ed and con­firmed by a Cham­ber of In­dus­try and Com­merce. How­ev­er, con­tracts, com­pa­ny dec­la­ra­tions and so forth are to be pre-cer­ti­fied by a no­tary and sub­se­quent­ly by the re­spon­si­ble re­gion­al court. Please al­ways spec­i­fy the coun­try in which the doc­u­ment is to be pre­sent­ed, e.g. Syr­i­an Arab Re­pub­lic, Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Chi­na, King­dom of Sau­di Ara­bia, etc.

Gen­er­al in­for­ma­tion on of­fi­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of no­tices of loss for iden­ti­ty doc­u­ments

Please note that no­tices of loss for iden­ti­ty doc­u­ments of per­sons whose iden­ti­ty can­not be clear­ly proven can­not be of­fi­cial­ly cer­ti­fied. There­fore, in ad­di­tion to a no­tice of loss, a res­i­dence cer­tifi­cate or ti­tle, in which it states that a pass­port was avail­able/pre­sent­ed up­on ar­rival in­to Ger­many, is to be sub­mit­ted to the city/com­mu­ni­ty or lo­cal po­lice (not fed­er­al po­lice). Should no pass­port have been record­ed by the for­eign au­thor­i­ties, it will not be pos­si­ble to of­fi­cial­ly cer­ti­fy the no­tice of loss.

Pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of doc­u­ments

Pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of doc­u­ments is car­ried out

1. for pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als by:

  • the re­gion­al court
  • the re­gion­al au­thor­i­ties
  • the fed­er­al au­thor­i­ties

2. for com­pa­nies by:

  • the re­gion­al court
  • the re­gion­al au­thor­i­ties
  • the fed­er­al au­thor­i­ties
  • the Cham­ber of In­dus­try and Com­merce/cham­ber of com­merce

Re­gard­ing 1. for pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als:

  • The re­gion­al courts are re­spon­si­ble for all ju­di­cial and no­tary doc­u­ments (judge­ments, com­mer­cial reg­is­ter ex­tracts, pow­ers of at­tor­ney, etc.). Trans­la­tions by a cer­ti­fied trans­la­tor/in­ter­preter must al­so be pre-cer­ti­fied by the re­spon­si­ble re­gion­al court. Pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion must be car­ried out by a pres­i­dent, vice-pres­i­dent or pre­sid­ing judge.
  • The au­thor­i­ties of the fed­er­al states (see be­low) are re­spon­si­ble for doc­u­ments in their ad­min­is­tra­tion au­thor­i­ties and cities (e.g. birth cer­tifi­cates, tes­ti­monies, records of un­mar­ried sta­tus, reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cates, etc.).
  • Fed­er­al au­thor­i­ties are re­spon­si­ble for the doc­u­ments they have is­sued. Cer­tifi­cates of good con­duct from the Fed­er­al Of­fice of Jus­tice must be pre-cer­ti­fied there.

Re­gard­ing 2. for com­pa­nies:

  • Re­gion­al court, re­gion­al and fed­er­al au­thor­i­ties as above un­der 1.
  • The Cham­bers of In­dus­try and Com­merce/cham­bers of com­merce are ex­clu­sive­ly re­spon­si­ble for com­mer­cial doc­u­ments (e.g. com­mer­cial in­voic­es, cer­tifi­cates of ori­gin, etc.)

Should pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion be car­ried (first step) by the re­spon­si­ble pre-cer­ti­fi­er (see above), the doc­u­ments are of­fi­cial­ly cer­ti­fied by the Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion on be­half of the Fed­er­al For­eign Of­fice as a sec­ond step. The doc­u­ments can then be pre­sent­ed at the for­eign rep­re­sen­ta­tion out­side Ger­many for fi­nal pro­cess­ing (le­gal­i­sa­tion) (third step).

Type of de­liv­ery

The doc­u­ments can be sent to the Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion by post (de­liv­ered by sim­ple or reg­is­tered mail), via couri­er ser­vice or de­liv­ered in per­son.

Doc­u­ments that ex­ceed a to­tal weight of 2.00 kg or a col­lec­tion fee of €1,600.00 may on­ly be sent via couri­er ser­vice or de­liv­ered in per­son. Postal de­liv­ery is not pos­si­ble in this case.

Postal ad­dress:
Refer­at ZMV II 6 – Beglaubi­gun­gen
50728 Köln

Vis­i­tor/couri­er ad­dress:
Bun­desver­wal­tungsamt Eu­pen­er Strasse 125
50933 Köln (Braunsfeld)

Costs and pro­ce­dure

The Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion charges a fee of €25.00 for each cer­ti­fied doc­u­ment. The cer­ti­fied doc­u­ments are sent with a no­ti­fi­ca­tion of charges for cash on de­liv­ery to the ap­pli­cant’s ad­dress in Ger­many. For ap­pli­ca­tions from out­side Ger­many, the Ger­man ad­dress of an au­tho­rised re­cip­i­ent, who will pay cash for and re­ceive the de­liv­ery, must be pro­vid­ed. In the case of pre­sen­ta­tion in per­son or de­liv­ery via couri­er, the doc­u­ments can gen­er­al­ly be ready on the same day if the fee is paid pri­or by EC card or in cash.

Ser­vice times for vis­i­tors

Mon­days, Wednes­days and Thurs­days from 9 am to 1 pm, Tues­days from 9 am to 4.30 pm, Fri­days from 9 am to 1 pm

You can find di­rec­tions to the of­fice build­ing of the BVA in Cologne-Braunsfeld here.

Au­thor­i­ties of Ger­man fed­er­al states that pro­vide pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion


Re­gion­al coun­cil

Ex­cep­tion: School cer­tifi­cates (Min­istry of Cul­ture and Sport), uni­ver­si­ty cer­tifi­cates (Min­istry of Sci­ence and Re­search)

BerlinRe­gion­al Au­thor­i­ties for Cit­i­zen and Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs LABO II A, ‘cen­tral res­i­dent mat­ters’
Bran­den­burgMin­istry of the In­te­ri­or in Pots­dam
Bre­menSen­a­tor for the In­te­ri­or, Cul­ture and Sport
Ham­burgAu­thor­i­ty for the In­te­ri­or
HesseRe­gion­al coun­cil
Meck­len­burg-West­ern Pomera­niaMin­istry of the In­te­ri­or for Meck­len­burg-West­ern Pomera­nia in Schw­erin
Low­er Sax­onyPo­lice de­part­ments in Braun­schweig, Göt­tin­gen, Hanover, Lüneb­urg, Old­en­burg and Os­nabrück
North Rhine-West­phaliaDis­trict gov­ern­ment
Rhineland-Palati­nateSu­per­vi­sion and Ser­vice Ad­min­is­tra­tion Body in Kaiser­slautern
Saar­landMin­istry of the In­te­ri­or and Eu­ro­pean Mat­ters
Sax­onyre­gion­al ad­min­is­tra­tion Sax­ony
Sax­ony-An­haltstate ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fice in Magde­burg
Schleswig-Hol­steinMin­istry of the In­te­ri­or of Schleswig-Hol­stein in Kiel
ThuringiaState ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fice of Thuringia in Weimar

List of coun­tries or au­thor­i­ties for which of­fi­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion is re­quired




Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Bangladesh


Union of Myan­mar (Bur­ma


Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Chi­na


Re­pub­lic of Iraq


Is­lam­ic Re­pub­lic of Iran (ex­clud­ing uni­ver­si­ty cer­tifi­cates)


King­dom of Jor­dan


King­dom of Cam­bo­dia


State of Qatar


Lebanese Re­pub­lic (on­ly uni­ver­si­ty-re­lat­ed cer­tifi­cates)


Re­pub­lic of Mali




King­dom of Nepal


Re­pub­lic of Rwan­da


King­dom of Sau­di Ara­bia


Demo­crat­ic Re­pub­lic of So­ma­lia


Re­pub­lic of Su­dan


Syr­i­an Arab Re­pub­li­ca


Taipei trade of­fice, visa de­part­ment (on­ly jus­tice-re­lat­ed doc­u­ments)


Re­pub­lic of To­go

Ap­pli­ca­tion Form