Certified translations

Do you need a certified translation for an official agency or authority?

What are certified translations?

If the document for submission to official agencies and authorities is only available in a foreign language, simple translations are often not sufficient. The sworn translator is sworn in before the court and is thus authorized – in place of a notary – to verify the authenticity of the documents with the help of a stamp and signature.

When do I need a certified translation?

Documents requiring certification are very individual. Therefore, it is advisable to always check with the relevant office or authority whether certification is necessary and for which country the document is intended.

Documents that often require certification:

  • Certificates and diplomas
  • Contracts
  • Adoption documents
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Identification documents
  • Commercial register excerpts
  • Driving licenses
  • Medical certificates and medical reports

What is an apostille?

An apostille is a form of certification in the communication of documents, which is used in the Hague Convention between many member states. This confirms the signature of the translator who issued the certification.

When do you need an apostille?

Apostilles are mainly required for public documents; however, this depends on the country and the respective regulations. Some examples: You want to get married abroad, adopt a child, work, or start a company; you receive an inheritance or want to take a pet abroad.

Where to apply for the apostille?

The document holder applies for the apostille, in contrast to the certification, directly at the competent authority in the country where the document was issued. Each country decides for itself exactly which authority is responsible for this. In Germany, this also depends on the respective federal state. More info can be found on the website of the German Foreign Office.

© Thomas Berberich
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