Legalization of Canadian documents


- Procedure
- Canadian Civil Registry documents
- Canadian Notary Public documents
- Canadian Police record checks
- Canadian tribunal documents

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Foreign public documents, such as civil status documents or documents drawn up by a foreign notary, are not always readily accepted by German authorities. For recognition in Germany, the receiving authority can require that the authenticity of a document be established either by an apostille or by legalization. This results from Section 438 of the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO).

The legalization by the German diplomatic mission is replaced by an apostille in accordance with the Hague Apostille Convention of October 5, 1961. The apostille is issued by an authority from the same country in which the document was issued. This means that there is no need to contact a German diplomatic mission abroad.

Canada acceded to the Hague Apostille Convention in May 2023 and will implement it from January 11, 2024. The organization for this is still being set up by the Canadian authorities. As a rule, responsibility is transferred to the authorities that were previously responsible for additional certifications.

For a transitional period, even after the application of the Apostille Convention in Canada, the German diplomatic missions abroad will continue to carry out legalizations on documents that have already been pre-certified according to the procedure described on the following pages, in order to avoid having to go to the Canadian authorities again and possibly having to re-issue the document.

You can find the information you need about the process of issuing the apostille on the following websites.

Procedure: https://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/about-a_propos/services/authentication-authentification/step-etape-1.aspx?lang=eng

Responsibilities: https://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/about-a_propos/services/authentication-authentification/apostille-convention.aspx?lang=eng

In the opposite case, Canadian authorities have so far generally refrained from legalizing German documents. Administrative practice will show whether this will continue to be the case after the application of the Convention.

For the legalization of German documents you wish to use in Canada please contact the Canadian Embassy in Berlin or the administration in Germany that issued the document.

The information provided below is detailed for the different types of Canadian documents or certificates which are typically legalized by the German Embassy or Consulates.

Please follow the link to the document you would like to obtain a legalization for:

More information

For the recognition of foreign public documents (e.g. civil status documents or documents drawn up by a foreign notary) in Germany, the receiving authority can require that the authenticity of a document be established either by an apostille or by legalization.

Legalization - Procedure

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