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What is a Legalisation?
Foreign documents or certificates are often only recognized by the authorities of a state if their authenticity and evidentiary value has been determined by a special procedure. A range of internationally accepted procedures has been developed for this purpose. In most cases, documents which are to be used in legal procedures in Germany have to be proven authentic through means of either an “Apostille” or legalisation.
An “Apostille” is a certificate of authenticity issued by a designated authority in a contracting state to The Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents of 5 October 1961. Tanzania, unlike Germany, is not a contracting state to this convention. Thus “Apostilles” cannot be issued for Tanzanian documents; they need to be legalised before being submitted to German authorities.
We expressly point out that only typewritten documents are internationally recognised. Tanzanian handwritten documents are not legalised. Legalisation of court judgements is generally not possible, but may be possible in individual cases after consultation and must be decided on a case-by-case basis. The German Embassy can also refuse legalisation.
Legalization of documents issued in Mainland-Tanzania
Mainland-Tanzanian personal status documents as birth certificates, marriage certificates etc. have to be issued by the headquarter of the main registration office RITA(Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency). Please note that for legalisation the original has to be stamped, therefore the document cannot be laminated.
In the following cases you need to have a new document issued by RITA-Headquarter:
- The document is older than 1990 or the document is unreadable
- The document is laminated
Attention: If the certificate was issued by a registry office other than Rita, e.g. Arusha, you must 1. either have a new certificate issued at the central registry office RITA in Dar Es Salaam or 2. apply for a so-called ‚Verification of Signature‘ letter at the central registry office RITA in Dar es Salaam (1. Floor, Room Nr. 5 close tot he registry). The issuing of such letter can take 1-5 days.
Contact to RITA:
Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency, “RITA”
Dar es Salaam
Should you need the legalisation for a court order please proceed to the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreiegn Affairs in Dar Es Salaam first and receive a pre-certification (Julius Nyerere International Convention center (JNICC) (common name: Ukumbi wa Mwalim Nyerere), Opening hours: 09:00am – 12:00 noon on Tuesday and Thursday).
Legalization of documents issued in Zanzibar-Tanzania
Zanzibar-Tanzanian personal status documents as birth certificates, marriage certificates etc. should be issued by the headquarter of the main registration office the ‚Zanzibar Civil Status Registration Agency (ZCSRA)‘.
Contact to ZCSRA:
“Zanzibar Civil Status Registration Agency”
Only typewritten Zanzibar documents are internationally recognised. The documents mus not be laminated.
Should you intend to come with a document issued in Zanzibar Tanzania it also has to be pre-certified:
1. By the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreigen Affairs in Zanzibar (Maisara Sansibar, Opening hours: 08:00am – 15:00pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays
2. By the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreiegn Affairs in Dar Es Salaam (Julius Nyerere International Convention center (JNICC) (common name: Ukumbi wa Mwalim Nyerere), Opening hours: 09:00am – 12:00 noon onTuesday and Thursday)
What to I have to do in order to get a legalisation?
In ordert o receive a legalisation you have to
- Pre-book an online appointment and come in on time
- Bring the original – non-laminated - document that is to be legalised
- As well as the Fee
for your appointment
It is possible that a third party - person appointed by you - will come forward with the document. It is not necessary for the holder of the certificate to be present in person.
A written application is not possible. It is also not possible to obtain a document through the embassy and then have it legalised. Instead, you should commission third parties (friends, family or a lawyer) to procure and obtain the legalisation.
Apostilles for German Documents
There is no central authority, instead, the competent Apostille authority varies from one federal state to another. We recommend inquiring at the office that issued your original document, as they will be able to tell you where to turn to for an Apostille for their certificate.
Further information can be found here