Certifying a Signature

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Certification, © colourbox

01.12.2017 - Article

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.

The signature must be executed in person in the presence of the consular officer or must be acknowledged in his presence. No advice about the legal meaning of the document to be signed is provided.

In many cases, the signature certification is sufficient for the required document.

Examples of where a certified signature would be used: 

- Declaration of Approval (“Genehmigungserklärung”): declaration by which a person approves a declaration / contract signed earlier on his behalf by someone else

- for a power of attorney (“Vollmacht”)

- for a trade registry entry

- for an application for a certificate of good conduct

- for a declaration of renouncement of inheritance

Please note: Following the amendment of the German Money Laudering Act (Geldwäschegesetz), the German missions abroad can no longer certify signatures or perform identity verfication to open a new account, for loan applications of similar cases. This also applies to credit card applications.
Please contact the bank which sent you the documents on how to proceed. 

Exempt from this new ruling are blocked accounts for foreign students who must apply for a student visa before entering Germany.

To have your signature certified, please bring along:

- the document to be signed (for declarations of approval: the contract which has been signed previously as well)

- valid, official photo-ID (passport, ID-card)

- if you are not acting on your own behalf, but on behalf of e.g. a company, a ward, etc: document (original or certified copy) stating your power of attorney.

The fee for the signature certification depends on the value of the legal transaction for which the document is needed and ranges between € 20,- and € 250,-. The fee is converted into NAIRA according to the daily exchange rate at the German mission and may be paid by cash only.

Certification of signature: blocked account

Please find more information on the requirements for your application to be certified. 

Blocked account for foreign students: certification of signature

Adminstrative districts of German missions in Nigeria

In legal and consular matters, please turn to the German mission responsible for you. The Embassy in Abuja and the Consulate General in Lagos are each responsible for different Nigerian states. Any applications have to be filed with the responsible German mission according to place of residence.

Administrative district of the Embassy in Abuja in legal and consular matters:

Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara

Administrative district of the Consulate General in Lagos in legal and consular matters:

Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Abia, Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers and Cross River

Please note that the Consulate General in Lagos is responsible for visa applications for all Nigerian States.

Please note that there will be no appointments for consular services from May – July 2022.

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