The laborious and costly nature of this two-step legalisation process led to a whole series of countries coming together in 1961 to sign the Hague Convention on the introduction of the “apostille” process. Replacing the legislation method, an apostille is issued by a public agency of the State in which the official document was issued.
This apostille confirms the authenticity of the official document, and an original copy of that document must be presented for the apostille to be issued. Unlike the legalisation process, there is no need for the involvement of a German diplomatic mission in this instance.
The apostille procedure can be used between any two states that have signed up to the Hague Convention. Around 115 states have currently done so. A current list of the contracting states is available on the website of the German Foreign Office.
So, if you need to present an official record or document in a non-signatory state, the legalisation method will be needed. It that case the legalisation procedure, as described above, will be applied.