Authentication/certification of signatures

Unterschriftsbeglaubigung Enlarge image (© colourbox) The certification of the signature is the "simpler" form of a notarization (as opposed to the full notarization of a document). By certifying the signature the consular officer confirms that the person indicated in the document signed it in front of him. 

The signature has to be given in person in the presence of the consular officer or has to 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 document to become effective.

Examples

* Life certificate for German pensions

Life Certificate

* Application for a certificate of good conduct

Certificate of good conduct

* Declaration of renouncement of succession (Erbausschlagung)

Renouncement of succession

* declaration of approval (Genehmigungserklärung): declaration by which a person approves a declaration / contract signed earlier on his behalf by somebody else

* "simple" power of attorney (Vollmacht): power of attorney relating to everyday legal transactions or business, e.g. revocable power of attorney for a specific legal transaction

* trade register entry

Which documents have to be submitted?

To get your signature certified, please bring with you:
1
The document to be signed
2
Valid passport
3
Residence permit for Singapore
4
for declarations of approval: the contract which has been signed earlier in Germany
5
if applicable, power of attorney for the company / person etc.

In individual cases further documents may be required.

Procedure

Signature certifications can be done at the German Embassy, but they are usually also recognized under German law if done by a Singaporean notary public. Please make sure in advance that the German authority, to which the document shall be presented, does accept this procedure. Authorities in Germany may request a legalization in addition to the signature certification done by a Singaporean notary public.

Fees

The fee for the signature certification depends on the value of the legal transaction for which the document is needed and ranges between 25 and 250 EUR. The fees have to be paid when submitting the document to be signed. 

The fee is converted into SGD according to the daily exchange rate at the German Embassy. You may pay in cash or with credit card (Visa, Master). If you pay with credit card, the transaction will be processed in EUR. Further bank fees may apply.

Identity verification for bank accounts in Germany

Following the amendment of the German Money Laundering Act the German missions abroad can no longer notarize signatures or perform identity verification to open a new account, for loan applications or 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 and who need to open an account in Germany in order to prove sufficient financial means for their stay in Germany. In these cases only, the German Embassy in Singapore is allowed to notarize signatures or to perform identity verification.