Authentication and legalisation of documents

Das Bild zeigt Unterlagen, die mit Büroklammern zusammengeheftet sind

Dokumente, © Colourbox/poring



The certification of a signature is done by acknowledging or executing the signature before the consular officer. A name signature can only be authenticated if it is executed before the consular officer. In both cases, the personal appearance of the person whose signature, name signature or hand sign is to be certified is required.

Please note that for the certification of the conformity of photocopies or a certified copy, the original or certified copy must be presented to the consular officer.

Copies of Ethiopian public documents can only be authenticated if the authenticity of the original can be determined without a doubt, i.e. documents with security features such as drivers’ licenses or passports.

Verification of documents

As the requirements for the legalisation of public documents from Ethiopia are not met, legalisation was discontinued with the approval of the Federal Foreign Office as of 31 March 2014. The interior and judicial authorities of the Federal States were informed accordingly.

The Embassy can, however, provide administrative assistance or legal assistance to German authorities and courts by providing an expert opinion on whether the certified facts are correct and thereby assist the domestic authorities in their decision-making. Whether a document verification is necessary is at the discretion of the German authority or court where the document is to be used as evidence. Private individuals cannot initiate a document verification.

More detailed information on this process is available on our German website.

Verification of German documents
Since August 2017 German documents required e.g. for applying for Ethiopian residence or work permits must be presented in legalised form. The legalisation is carried out by the Ethiopian Embassy in Berlin. Please note that the German Embassy in Addis Ababa does not legalise German civil status documents such as birth or marriage certificates.

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