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Certifications for the application procedure

Certificates and documents that are requested as officially certified copies for application or enrolment must meet certain requirements.

Information on certification

An official certification must contain at least:

  • a note certifying that the copy/transcript corresponds to the original (certification note),
  • the date and the signature of the certifier, and
  • the imprint of the official seal. An official seal usually contains an emblem. A simple hand stamp is not sufficient.

If the copy/transcript consists of several individual sheets, it must be proved that each page originates from the same document. It is sufficient if only one page bears the certification mark and the signature, provided that all sheets are overstamped (e. g. in a scale-like manner) in such a way that part of the official seal impression appears on each page.

Each page may also be certified separately. In this case, care must be taken to ensure that the name of the holder of the certificate/deed appears on each page of the original. If it does not appear everywhere, it must be included in the authentication endorsements together with a reference to the type of document.

If there is a copy on the front and back of a sheet and the contents of both sides matter, the attestation endorsement must refer to both the front and back (e. g.: "It is hereby certified that the copy before/around is the same as the original."). If this is not the case, the front and back must be certified separately.

If there is a seal impressed in the paper on the original (a so-called embossed seal), this will usually not be visible on the copy. The certification note on the copy must then be extended to state that there was an embossed seal of the issuer of the certificate/deed on the original.

If the certification does not meet the above requirements, the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam will not recognise the certification. The copy of an officially certified copy is not considered certified and must be officially certified again!

Who issues certifications?

All authorities of the Land, the municipalities, offices and associations of municipalities, other legal persons under public law subject to the supervision of the Land, which are entitled to use an official seal, e. g. residents' registration offices, the school issuing the certificate, notaries, Land insurance institutions, are authorised to carry out official certification. Certification by banks, savings banks, churches, lawyers, auditors, associations, sworn accountants, etc. is not recognised. Authentications by health insurance companies are only recognised if they have been carried out by the AOK, Barmer GEK or TK.

Note on the certification of foreign certificates:
Experience has shown that copies of foreign certificates are not produced by all the usual offices. If you have problems obtaining them, it is best to contact a notary or the embassy of your home country.

Legal basis

The Administrative Procedure Act for the State of Brandenburg (VwVfGBbg) of 7 July 2009 (GVBl. I/09, [No. 12], pp. 262, 264) in conjunction with section 33 of the Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG) is decisive for the correct execution of an authentication. The regulation on the authority for official certification is laid down in the Ordinance on the Determination of Authorities Authorised for Official Certification in the State of Brandenburg of 30 August 2011.