Management of StudiesFormal Requirements for the Certification of Documents

Who is Allowed to Certify?

Any authority or other public body holding a seal of approval may certify. Notarizations by notaries and churches organized under public law are also accepted.

The certification of lawyers, associations, auditors, accountants, experts, experts, translators (with the exception of own translations), health insurance companies, etc. is not accepted.

The formal requirements for the certification of documents result from § 33 Administrative Procedure Act of the State of Baden-Württemberg (LVwVfG).

As the sample shows, the notarisation must at least contain the following information:

  1.     A note certifying that the copy corresponds to the original (certification note),
  2.     The place and date of authentication, the signature of the authenticator, and
  3.     The imprint of the official seal. An official seal usually contains an emblem. A simple written stamp is not sufficient.

Certifications for Multi-Page Copies

If the copy/script consists of several individual sheets, it must be proved that each page originates from the same document. It is sufficient for only one page to be endorsed and signed, provided that all the sheets (e.g. overlapping) are laid over one another, stapled and sealed so that part of the stamp appears on each page (see illustration at the top left of the model).

Of course, each page can also be certified separately. In this case, however, make sure that your name appears on each page of the original. If it is not mentioned everywhere, it must be included in the credentials, together with a reference to the type of document.

If there is a copy on the front and back of a page and it depends on the contents of both pages, the notarisation must refer to the front and back (e.g. "This certifies that the copy in front of/around the page corresponds to the original"). If this is not the case, the front and reverse sides must be certified separately.

In the case of a notarised certification (with cord and seal mark), the certification mark on only one side of the copy or copy is sufficient.  

If there is a seal pressed into the paper (a so-called embossed seal) on the original, this will generally not be visible on the copy. The certification mark on the copy must then be extended so that the original bears an embossed seal of the issuer of the certificate/document.

If you submit official certificates, e.g. certificates from authorities, please make sure that the original of these certificates contains an official seal imprint. A certificate generated by electronic data processing which does not contain a signature or seal imprint is valid if it is presented in the original; photocopies of such certificates must, however, be duly certified.