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Certification and Legalisation

Diverse Stempel an einer Halterung

Beglaubigung, © Photothek.de

01.12.2017 - Article


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.

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. You usually do not need to book an appointment for this. 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 depends on the value of the legal transaction for which the document is needed and ranges between 20 and 250 Euro. For example, if you are signing a declaration of consent for a house sale, the value of the house determines the fee. You will need to present proof of the value, otherwise the maximum fee may be chargeable. If you are unsure, please contact us before coming to the Embassy to ensure you have the correct information.

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”). For most of these, you will have to travel to Germany to see a notary, as not all Embassy staff is authorised to perform a notarisation.

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 minimum fee is 10 Euro, otherwise 1 Euro per page. 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.

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:

Legalisation of Zambian Documents

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