Guidance

Notarial and documentary services guide for Germany

Documents, certificates, letters and notes available from British Missions in Germany.

Overview

British Consulates General and the British Embassy in Germany can only provide a very limited range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals in Germany.

Where local notaries public can provide services, British Consulates General and the British Embassy will not provide them. This will be the case for the vast majority of notarial services requested at the British Embassy and Consulates General in Germany. Take a look at our list of English-Speaking Lawyers and Notaries Public or search for an English-speaking local Notary Public which can perform services in English. For your search you should make sure that you choose “Englisch” in the search fields “Beurkundungssprache” and “Entwurfssprache.”

These professional bodies can generally provide services more cheaply, quickly and conveniently.

Services we provide in Germany

The British Embassy and the British Consulates General in Germany only provide notarial services where the requesting authority and the applicant can provide evidence that no other alternative is acceptable.

For reference, please see our Informative Note on changes to notarial and documentary services, which have been in force since 2014:

Informative note

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If you require a UK university degree certificate to be legalised at the FCO Legalisation Office in the UK, a certified copy might be able to be made by us if you are unable to get it done by a UK solicitor or the British Council. Please email us with this information as well as proof that the requesting authority requires the document to be sent to the FCO Legalisation Office for an apostille or a legalisation stamp.

For information about documents relating to marriage, such as a certificate of no impediment (CNI) and affirmations or affidavits of marital status, please see getting married abroad.

If you can’t find the service you are looking for on this page, please see other services provided by the British embassy in Germany.

What to bring to your appointment

See the individual services below for details of supporting documents to bring only once you have an appointment confirmed by consular staff. Make sure you have acceptable proof of address and identity, and payment for any fees. See the full list of consular fees.

Payment

We accept payment by credit or debit card (Visa or MasterCard only), or cash in Euros on the day of the appointment.

Proof of address and identity

For all appointments for notarial services you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address.

We accept passports or national identity cards as proof of identity.

We accept recent utility bills, bank/building society statement (not ones printed off the internet), or any official documents from the town authorities as proof of your address.

Administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit

This service is for people who need to swear an oath, make an affirmation or make an affidavit relating to the UK in front of a consular officer. The British Embassy and the British Consulates General in Germany only provide notarial services where the requesting authority and the applicant can provide written evidence that no other alternative is acceptable. If you cannot provide is with this proof, we are unable to conduct this service. We will only then consider your application for notarial services. For more information, please see our Informative Note.

Please note that the consulate will not draft documents for you. First check with the consulate what format they need and then have the document drawn up or checked by a professional.

Once you have booked an appointment request you will receive an email from us requesting a scan of the document(s) in question, as well as the written evidence mentioned above, to ensure that we can conduct this service. We will only then confirm the appointment.

Please be aware that if you attend the consulate without emailing beforehand, your appointment will not be confirmed and we cannot guarantee that we can perform the service requested.

What you will need to bring with you:

Request an appointment for an oath, affirmation or affidavit in:

Berlin Munich Dusseldorf

Witness a signature

This service is for customers who need to sign a document and have their signature witnessed by a consular officer. The document must be prepared before your appointment as we will not draft documents for you. We do not handle wills or probate, power of attorneys, or witness deed polls. The British Embassy and the British Consulates General in Germany only provide notarial services where the requesting authority and the applicant can provide written evidence that no other alternative is acceptable. We will only then consider your application for notarial services. If you cannot provide is with this proof, we are unable to conduct this service. For more information, please see our Informative Note.

Please do not sign the document before your appointment.

Once you have booked an appointment request you will receive an email from us requesting a scan of the document(s) in question, as well as written evidence mentioned above, to ensure that we can conduct this service. We will only then confirm the appointment.

Please be aware that if you attend the consulate without emailing beforehand, your appointment will not be confirmed and we cannot guarantee that we can perform the service requested.

What you will need to bring with you:

Request an appointment to witness a signature in:

Berlin Munich Dusseldorf

Make a certified copy of a document

This service is for customers who need certified photocopies of British passports, Home Office registration/naturalisation certificates, UK educational documents (only those that have been issued in the UK by a recognised institution and are listed on the Legalisation Office website and which are required to be sent to the FCO Legalisation Office), British driving licences and British divorce decrees. Customers must provide written confirmation from the requesting authority and the applicant that no other alternative notarial body can perform this act. We will only then consider your application for notarial services. If you cannot provide us with this proof, we are unable to conduct this service. For more information, please see our Informative Note.

Once you have booked an appointment request you will receive an email from us requesting a scan of the document(s) in question, as well as written evidence mentioned above, to ensure that we can conduct this service. We will only then confirm the appointment.

Please be aware that if you attend the consulate without emailing beforehand, your appointment will not be confirmed and we cannot guarantee that we can perform the service requested.

What you will need to bring with you:

Request an appointment for certified copies in:

Berlin Munich Dusseldorf

Convert a civil partnership to marriage

This service is for couples who wish to convert an existing civil partnership into marriage. For information on getting married or entering into a civil partnership, see getting married abroad.

You do not need to have formed your civil partnership in Germany, but you must have been resident in Germany for 28 days.

We can convert civil partnerships formed between a British national and a national of any country except Germany (including dual nationals).

Read what you need to know about converting a civil partnership and then book your appointment using the link below.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • your passport
  • your partner’s passport
  • your original civil partnership certificate
  • proof of residence, such as an employer’s letter or bank statement
  • the correct fee – see the list of fees and payment options.

Once you make a reservation, consular staff will contact you to check whether you are eligible. Only then will the appointment be confirmed.

Make a reservation to convert a civil partnership to marriage at the British Embassy in:

Berlin

Other services we provide

The following informative note is required for a variety of notary and bureaucratic procedures in Germany. Should the German authorities need an explanation of English name law, you will need an informative note. This note cannot be personalised. It is also not possible to change your name and/or surname by deed poll or declaration in Germany. You can print the note in German or English to give to the German authorities.

Services provided elsewhere

We no longer provide life certificates for British nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can do this for you.

Data protection

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy / consulate by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy / consulate will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy/consulate will be accepted.

Published 5 April 2013
Last updated 30 January 2015 + show all updates
  1. converting civil partnership to marriage information added
  2. updated booking options for customers
  3. Updated with new informative note
  4. Updated instructions for witnessing UK state pension life certificates.
  5. added informative note publications and consular district jpg
  6. First published.