Certified Copies

What is a certified copy and how can I get one?

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A certified copy is a copy of a document that has been legally certified in Germany. It means a stamp would be attached to the copy that proves it is identical to the original document. It does not verify that the original document is valid. 

Most authorities don’t accept certified copies of a certified copy. You need to have the original document as well. For instance, if you have a certified copy from Afghanistan and make another certified copy from it in Germany, the second copy won't be accepted by German authorities.

Where can I get a certified copy?

Notary (“Notar”)

Administration authorities

City administrations

„Pfarramt“ of publicly organized churches

Insurance companies and banks

School and University

Court and „Standesamt“

German Embassies

What do I need to submit to the certifying office?

What makes up a legal certification?

Why do I need a certified copy?


Ordinary translators cannot certify copies of documents. Some of them might offer to do so, but the result will be fake and not accepted by the authorities. Make sure to go to a sworn translator if you need your documents translated and certified.