The United Kingdom is one of the states which are party to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. All that is required for these documents is a so-called “Hague apostille”. This Convention applies to all public documents (i.e. marriage and birth certificates, university degrees etc.) with the exception of documents executed by consular officers and documents issued by administrative authorities which relate directly to commerce or customs.

An apostille confirms the authenticity of a public document, the original of which must be submitted to the designated agency.

You can find detailed information on the international recognition of documents on the website of the Federal Foreign Office: International recognition/ Legalisation of documents

Which agency is responsible depends on whether you require an apostille on a German or British document:

An official British document/certificate can only be apostilled by the Legalisation Office of the British Government. This can be done online and from abroad. All information can be found here.

Hague apostilles for German public documents are issued by a designated agency. German missions abroad cannot issue an apostille and are not involved in the application process. The agency authorised to issue apostilles differs depending on the type of document and the federal state (Bundesland).

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the following agencies issue Hague apostilles:

Federal documents

Bundesamt für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten

Referat Apostillen und Forderungsmanagement
Team Apostillen und Endbeglaubigungen
Kirchhofstraße 1-2
14776 Brandenburg an der Havel

Exception: For Federal Patent Court and German Patent Office documents, the apostille is issued by the president of the German Patent Office.

Documents issued by the German federal states

Responsibility for issuing Hague apostilles is not uniformly regulated in the German federal states (Bundesländer). For this reason, if you are unsure which office can issue an apostille in your specific case, please contact the authority in Germany which originally issued the document.

Generally speaking, the following are the competent agencies:

Documents issued by administrative authorities (except judicial administrative authorities):

Interior ministries (senate departments), regional commissioners, regional administration;

in Berlin: State Office for Residence and Regulatory Affairs;

in Lower Saxony: Police headquarters in Braunschweig, Göttingen, Hanover, Lüneburg, Oldenburg and Osnabrück;

in Rhineland-Palatinate: Supervisory and service directorate in Kaiserslautern;

in Saxony: State directorates in Chemnitz, Dresden and Leipzig;

in Saxony-Anhalt: State administrative office in Magdeburg;

in Thuringia: State administrative office in Weimar.

Documents issued by judicial administrative authorities, courts of general jurisdiction (civil and criminal courts), and notaries:

Justice ministries (senate departments), chief justices of state (administrative) courts.

Documents issued by courts other than those of general jurisdiction:

Interior ministries (senate departments), regional commissioners, regional administration, justice ministries (senate departments), chief justices of state (administrative) courts.

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