Do you need a Certificate of Good Conduct from Germany?

Do you have to send a document to Germany which has to be notarized or needs an Apostille?

Do you need a "Lebensbescheinigung", a Life Certificate, for your pension paid for by a German authority?

If you have one of these or a similar question the German missions in the US provide you with more information on the following:



An Apostille is the confirmation of the authenticity of a public document and is only conferred by a designated authority of the country which issued the document. The German Missions cannot issue Apostilles.


Bank Accounts in Germany – Identity Verification

Euro and Dollar notes, (c)

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 of more than 15,000 EUR, or similar cases.

ID Verification

Certificate of Good Conduct

In the Federal Republic of Germany all police records are filed at the Federal Central Registrar, the so-called "Bundeszentralregister" (BZR). A Certificate of Good Conduct ("Führungszeugnis") can be requested from the Federal Office of Justice ("Bundesamt für Justiz").

Certificate of Good Conduct

Life Certificate ("Lebensbescheinigung")


Once a year, pensioners living in the US receive the form “Lebensbescheinigung” (life certificate) requesting confirmation that they are still alive. The pensioner must personally sign this form and have his/her signature certified by an authorized agency or authority of their country of residence.

Life Certificate

Signature Certification, Copy Notarization and Full Notarization of a Document by a German Mission

notarielle Beurkundung

You have to sign a document in front of a consular officer or need to obtain certified/notarized photocopies of an original document? Please keep in mind that depending on what you have to sign there are different types of certifications/notarizations.

Signature Certification, Notarization

Service of Documents between the US and Germany

Legal Symbols, (c) picture-alliance/chromorange

The service of documents in cross-border legal relations is governed by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. A central authority in each country has been charged with the formal service of documents. In the US, it is the agency commissioned by the Department of Justice in Washington and in Germany, it is the (decentralized) judicial authorities of the individual German states.

Service of Documents

Transport Certificate for a Corpse or an Urn


The German Missions in the United States issue permits to transport a body/human remains (Laissez-passer for corpse) and certificates for shipping cremains (urn).

Urn / Corpse: Transport Certificate

Please Note:


Due to the re­launch of the Federal Office of Administration's (BVA) website, the English version of the BVA-website is currently offline.  We will restore the links as soon as the English version of BVA website is online again.  In the meantime, please use our legal information in German language.

Consulate Finder

German Missions in the United States

Nine German Missions throughout the US offer consular services. Each Mission covers a specific geographic region. To find out which Mission can assist you, please use our Consulate Finder.

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