Schmidt & Schmidt will help you acquire the documents of civil status as well as the replacement documents for your lost or damaged documents in Germany in order to further attest your documents with an apostille certificate and, if necessary, translate them into a language of the state of destination for their use there.
If your personal documents are lost or damaged, or if you need an up-to-date copy of your document, a new document must be obtained in Germany. Our service allows you to remotely obtain a new document from Germany and have it delivered internationally by a courier service.
Validity of the initial documents
Civil status documents issued in Germany usually expire in 3 to 6 months after their issuance. A new document with current data need to be obtained. In some states, documents have no expiration date, so this must be stated at the place of issuance. In addition, a validity period of the initial document can be set by the receiving party.
The following documents can be obtained:
- Certificate of birth
- Marriage certificate
- Change of name certificate
- Divorce certificate
- Death certificate
- Criminal record
- Educational documents
- Other documents
When a new document from Germany is needed
A new document (certificate of birth, marriage certificate, change of name certificate, divorce certificate, criminal record or death certificates) may be required to register a marriage abroad, register a newly-born child, apply for citizenship, receive an inheritance, apply for the confirmation of a pension, open a bank account, take up employment and clarify other bureaucratic issues.
For the acquisition the following documents are required:
- Signed power of attorney from the owner of the document (Since civil documents are personal documents that contain personal data, they can only be obtained by their owners or persons authorized by them)
- Copy of ID
- Information about change of name
- Information about the place of registration of civil registration
The holder of the document can order a new certificate independently online via the official website or by email with the delivery to our office in Germany since in most cases documents can only be sent within Europe.
Depending on the regulations applicable in a particular federal state, documents on civil status can be requested from the registry office or a similar institution.
Educational documents must be applied for at the relevant educational institution. Educational documents can be issued in the form of a certified copy.
Criminal records are issued by the Federal Office of Justice in Bonn. This document can only be applied online by the recipient of the document. However, Schmidt & Schmidt will take the legalization of your new criminal recorg certificate. For this, you can give the address of our office in Germany as a delivery address. We will send the new document to Bonn for additional certification and then to the Federal Administration Office in Cologne for the issuance of the apostille.
Germany acceded to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents on 15 December 1966.
Therefore, the documents issued in Germany are exempt from consular legalization for use in other member states of the Convention. The documents gain full legal validity if accompanied by the apostille and a notarized translation.
Time of the procedure
It takes approximately two weeks to obtain new documents from Germany. The issuance time may vary depending on the processing time of the issuing authorities. This time frame does not include the time required to issue an apostille certificate and translate your documents. The apostillization usually takes about two weeks.
Translation of documents from Germany
In addition, you can obtain a notarized translation from German into a language of the state of destination from Schmidt & Schmidt. The fee is calculated based on the scope of a specific document.