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Certification and Notarisation

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You have to sign a document in front of a German Consular Officer? Following information was compiled to illustrate the two different forms of notarial certification according to German law, signature certification and notarisation of documents.

Certification of a Signature

Document certification
Document certification© www.colourbox.com

By certifying a signature, the consular officer confirms that the person indicated in the document was physically present and signed it in front of him or her. It is a simple form of authenticating a signature.

The signature must be executed in person in the presence of the consular officer or must be acknowledged in his presence. No advice about the legal meaning of the document to be signed is provided.

In many cases, the certification of a signature is sufficient for the required document.

Examples of where the certification of a signature would be used:


  • for a Declaration of Approval (“Genehmigungserklärung”): declaration by which a person approves a declaration / contract signed earlier on his behalf by someone else
  • for a “simple” power of attorney (“Vollmacht”): power of attorney relating to everyday legal transactions or business, e.g. revocable power of attorney for a specific legal Transaction
  • for a trade register entry
  • for an application for a certificate of good conduct
  • for a declaration of renouncement of inheritance (“Ausschlagung einer Erbschaft”)

Important Notice:

For the certification of a signature for a power of attorney, the relevant documents should be sent to the German mission per e-mail prior to your visit, this is necessary due to the implications of the legal and financial aspects. After the consular officer has verified the documents he/she will get into contact with you.

German Embassy Pretoria e-mail

Consulate General Cape Town e-mail

For the certification of a signature in other matters (e.g. declaration of the pension beneficiary, certificate of good conduct, etc) you may come to the German mission during opening hours, without prior appointment.

For the certification of a signature regarding a Declaration of Approval (“Genehmigungserklärung”) a copy of the contract drawn up in Germany must be brought with to the German mission.

To have you signature certified please bring with you:

  • the document to be signed (for declarations of approval: the contract which has been signed previously in Germany)
  • a valid, official photo-ID (passport, SA ID-book)
  • if you are not acting on your own behalf, but on behalf of e.g. a company, a ward, etc., please bring a document (original or certified copy) stating your power of attorney for the company / person, etc.

The fee for the signature certification depends on the value of the legal transaction for which the document is needed and ranges between 20,-- Euro and 250,-- Euro. The fee is converted into ZAR according to the daily exchange rate at the German mission and may be paid by cash or credit card (Master and Visa cards only). Credit card payments at the Consulate General in Cape Town are only possible if the minimum amount is 30,-- Euro.

The certification of a signature can also be undertaken by the Honorary Consuls at the same fee.

Full notarisation

Full notarisation will provide stronger legitimisation of a document. While notarising a deed, the consular officer also confirms the identity of the person appearing, but he will furthermore provide advice to the person signing regarding the legal meaning and consequences of the declaration to be notarised.

On the basis of the draft by a German notary/lawyer or the information provided by you, the German mission will prepare the notarisation and set up an appointment with you.

Examples of legal transactions which require full notarisation are:

  • application for a certificate of inheritance
  • application for a letter of executorship
  • deed regarding acknowledgement of paternity
  • deed regarding child support
  • custody declaration according to German law

To have a document fully notarised, please bring with you:

  • a valid, official photo-ID (passport, SA ID-book)
  • additional documents as required (prior consultation with the notarising consular agent is mandatory)
  • in case you are acting on behalf of e.g. a company, a ward, etc., also bring a document (original or certified copy) stating your power of attorney for that company / person, etc.

The fee for notarisation will depend on the value of the legal transaction for which it is required (you can enquire about the fee in advance). The fee, calculated in Euro, will be converted into ZAR according to the daily exchange rate at the German mission and can be paid in cash or credit card (Master and Visa cards only). Credit card payments at the Consulate General in Cape Town are only possible if the minimum amount is 30,-- Euro.

Full notarisation in accordance with German law cannot be executed by a German Honorary Consul nor by a South African “notary public”.

Certified copies

Certified copies can be made at the German Embassy Pretoria, the Consulate General in Cape Town and the Honorary Consuls.

In order to certify copies please bring with you:

  • the number of copies to be certified
  • the originals or
  • copies already certified by a German authority.

The minimum fee for the certification of copies is 10,-- Euro the amount may increase due to an increased number of copies, if the German mission is required to make the copies these are also charged for.

The fee is converted into ZAR according to the daily exchange rate at the German mission and may be paid by cash or credit card (Master and Visa cards only). Credit card payments at the Consulate General in Cape Town are only possible if the minimum amount is 30,-- Euro. For certification of copies you may come to the German mission during opening hours, without prior appointment.

Opening Hours and Contact Details

Name

Consular/Passport Section Pretoria

Postal address

201 Florence Ribeiro Avenue, Groenkloof, Pretoria 0181

PASSPORT SECTION

Online appointments (no fee)

Appointment required for application

Passport collection (no appointment required):

Monday - Friday  08:00 - 11:30

Public Holidays 2018/19

RECEPTION

Opening hours for consular matters (excluding passport and visa issues):

Monday - Friday  08:00 - 11:30

Please make an appointment for the following consular services:

- Passport application

- visa application

- citizenship matters

- Registration of births

- Name declarations

- other civil status matters (e.g. adoption, divorce)

- Notarisation (e.g. certificate of inheritance, acknowledgement of paternity)

Contact via E-Mail


Name

Consular/Passport Section Cape Town

Postal address

Physical address: Roeland Park / e-tv Building 4 Stirling Street Entrance: top end of Stirling Street Zonnebloem 7925 (District Six) Postal address: P.O. Box 4273 Cape Town, 8000


Passport Section

Online appointments (no fee)
Application by appointment only
Passport collection (no appointment required):
Monday - Friday
8:30 - 11:30
Telephone and email enquiries:

Monday - Thursday only

14:00 - 16:00

Telephone
+27 (0)21 405 3052
Fax

+27 (0)21 421 0400 (South Africa)

+49 (0) 30 1817 67209 (Germany)
Public Holidays 2018

Enquiries via e-mail
Further information on passports

OTHER CONSULAR SERVICES (No passport or visa

applications)

No appointment required for:

- Certification of signatures and copies

- Name declarations

- Registration of births or marriages in Germany

- Translation of drivers licenses

- “Lebensbescheinigungen”

- Confirmation of residence

Please make an appointment for the following

consular services:

- Citizenship matters (e.g. retention of German citizenship,

naturalisation, determination of German citizenship)

- other civil status matters (e.g. adoption, divorce)

- notarisation )e.g. certificate of inheritance, acknowledge-

ment of paternity)

Please make the appointment via e-mail

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday 08:30 - 11:30
Telephone and e-mail enquiries:

Monday - Thursday

08:00 - 16:00
Friday
08:00 - 13:00
Telephone
+27 (0)21 405 3000
Fax

+27 (0)21 421 0400 (South Africa)

+49 (0) 30 1817 67209 (Germany)

Enquiries via e-mail

Further information on consular services

Durban beach
Durban beach© picture-alliance/dpa

Name

Honorary Consul

Head

Horst Achtzehn, Honorary Consul

Town

Durban

Tel.

+27 (0)31 266 3920

Fax

+27 (0)31 266 3925

Postal address

P.O. Box 1166,Westville,Durban 3630

Street

9 Kensington Drive,Westville,Durban 3629

Opening hours

Office hours

Mon - Fri

08:30 - 12:00

Consultation with Honorary Consul (only with appointment)

Mon - Fri
12:00 - 13:00


Contact Honorary Consul Durban



Languages

German, English

Website

Website Honorary Consul Durban

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