Notary public (m/f)

This section contains specific information on procedures and on the relevant legal basis for this occupational group.

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Professional Recognition


The selected profession is regulated in Germany. This means that state regulations require possession of specific qualifications to practice the profession.

If you obtained your law degree in the EU, EEA or Switzerland you may

  • pursue practical legal training at courts or in public administration (Referendariat). Upon completion of training and passing the second state examination in law you are entitled to hold judicial office.

An equivalency review determines whether your knowledge and skills are comparable to the German qualification.

You can use the Recognition Finder to identify the correct competent authority for your occupation.

Information on the procedure


You can only be appointed as notary public if you have gained the qualifications to hold the German office of judge.
The right to hold the German office of judge is granted to people who have earned a law degree at a university and obtained the first (state) examination in law and subsequently completed practical legal training at courts or in public administration.


There is no established procedure for recognizing the foreign qualification as notary public. However, you may apply for a period of practical training (Referendariat) if

  • you hold a law degree from a university within the EU, EEA or Switzerland which entitles you to pursue post-graduate training as an attorney at law in that state and
  • your knowledge of German law is equal to that of a German university graduate. The equivalency review will verify whether or not these requirements are met. Firstly, your certificates, examination certificates and other documents (e.g. proof of relevant work experience) will be reviewed to determine if you have adequate knowledge of German law.
  • If no equivalence or only partial equivalence of your qualification is determined, you can apply to take an aptitude test. The aptitude test is a written test to determine if you can demonstrate knowledge in the areas for which you could not provide sufficient proof in your application documents.
  • If the outcome of the review is positive, you are entitled to pursue practical legal training at courts or in public administration anywhere in Germany.

Applications are accepted independent of your citizenship or residence status.

Ethnic German resettler
Ask the competent authorities about any peculiarities in the procedure if you are an ethnic German resettler (Spätaussiedler) on the basis of Section 10 Federal Expellees Act.

Legal Basis

Federal Notary Act (BNotO)

Coronavirus: Fewer recognition services

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some services for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications in Germany are currently not available.

You can learn more about recognition from us whenever you like. Take some time to read our information, available in 11 languages! Then you will be well informed for the next steps.

Via the Recognition Finder you can find out everything about the recognition procedure for your occupation, which documents you need and where you should send your application: › To the Recognition Finder

Our FAQ provide answers to the most common questions about recognition:  › To the FAQs

You can find out which services are not available or only available to a limited extent by checking our information page on the current situation: › To the information page