A certification of a signature is the “simpler” form (as opposed to the full notarization of a document). By certifying the signature the consular officer confirms that the person indicated in the document signed it in the officer's presence. The signature has to be given or acknowledged in person in the presence of the consular officer. The consular officer can provide no advice as to the legal repercussions of the document.
In many cases, the signature certification is sufficient for the document to become legally binding.
- declaration of approval (“Genehmigungserklärung”): declaration by which a person approves a declaration / contract signed earlier on his behalf by somebody else
- power of attorney (“Vollmacht”): revocable power of attorney relating to everyday legal transactions or business
- trade register entry
To have your signature certified, you must present:
- the document to be signed
- for declarations of appoval: a copy/printout of the contract that has been signed by a representative in Germany
- a valid passport
NOTE: If you are a German citizen, you must bring your German passport or German ID card (Personalausweis)
- if you are not acting on your own behalf, but on behalf of a company, a ward, etc: provide a document stating your power of attorney (original or certified copy)
Signature certifications can be done at the competent German mission or by a German Honorary Consul. In some cases they can als be done by a Canadian notary public. Please check in advance with the respective German authority that demands the signature certification whether they will accept a certification done by a Canadian notary public. Authorities in Germany may request a legalization in addition to the signature certification done by a Canadian notary public.