Certification and Legalisation
Beglaubigung, © Photothek.de
1. General Information
When dealing with German authorities you may need to have your signature or photocopies of your documents certified, or you may require your Zambian documents to be legalized.
Please note that the Embassy cannot translate documents or certify translations. Furthermore, there are no sworn translators in Zambia.
2. Certified signatures
In many cases German authorities or institutions can only accept your applications or statements with a certified signature (“Unterschriftsbeglaubigung”). 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.
If you need your signature certified on a document, you will have to come to the Embassy in person during the opening hours of the Consular Section. Please make an appointment online. Please bring your valid passport and the document you need to sign (do not sign it at home). The fee to be charged by the Embassy is 56,43€.
The fee is converted into Zambian Kwacha according to the Embassy’s current exchange rate, the Embassy cannot accept Euro or other currencies in cash.
Please note that some legal transactions in Germany may require an official notarisation (“Beurkundung”).
In this case, please contact us prior to making an appointment on email@example.com
3. Certified photocopies
Certified photocopies can replace the originals for most legal purposes and enable you to keep your originals in a safe place while using the copies as documentary evidence. In order to have a copy certified, please present the original and a clear photocopy during the opening hours of the Embassy. Copies of documents that do not bear an original signature or stamp/seal cannot be certified.
The fee is 23,97 Euro per document. The fee is converted into Zambian Kwacha according to the Embassy’s current exchange rate, the Embassy cannot accept Euro or other currencies in cash.
4. Legalisation of Zambian documents
Legalisation refers to the process in which a diplomatic or consular mission abroad certifies a document issued by their host country as genuine. This enables the authorities in that mission's own country to accept these foreign documents as legal evidence. In other words, a Zambian public document which has been legalised by the German Embassy in Zambia can be treated as evidence by the German authorities. Whether or not a legalisation is necessary is within the discretion of the authority in Germany – they may be able to accept a Zambian document without legalisation. Before submitting your documents for legalisation, please confirm with the German authority requesting the document whether a legalisation is actually required.
Further information on this process can be found in this leaflet:
5. Malawian documents
Germany and Malawi are both signatory states of the Hague Convention Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. As a result, the Embassy cannot assist with legalising Malawian documents as legalisation has been substituted by the so-called Apostille, which is issued by the competent Malawian authorities. For contact details, please visit the
Website of The Hague Convention