International Service of Process In Germany

International service of process in Germany can be completed through both formal method of the Hague Service Convention as well as the informal method of service via agent. 


International service of process in Germany can be completed through the Hague Service Convention, which Germany signed on November 15, 195, ratified on April 27, 1969 and entered its provisions into force on June 26, 1979.

In Germany, the Central Authority is able to serve someone by postal channels as long as the proper conditions have been fulfilled under Article5(1)(a). In those particular instances, the Central Authority would provide the documents to the postal authorities for service. Directly serving the documents by mail without going through the Central Authority is not recognized as formally serving someone. This type of mail service is only allowed by the documents have been translated properly.

The specific articles opposed to by Germany include:

  • Article 8(2)
  • Article 10(a)
  • Article 10(b)
  • Article 10(c)

If you are looking to serve a subpoena, that cannot be served under the Hague Service Convention and would instead need to be served through the Hague Evidence Convention. See Serving a Subpoena Under the Hague Convention for more information. 

Translation of Documents 

Service requested under Article 5(1) must be translated into German under German law. However, documents that are prepared in another language don’t require translation in they are served in accordance with Article 5(2) of the Hague Service Convention. 

The process for service under the Hague Convention in Germany

The proper forms and payment are sent to the Central Authority in Germany. Once the documents are sent to the Central Authority, you will not receive any updates until the proof of service or non-service is sent back to your office.  

For more information on what to expect during service under the Hague Convention, take a look at International Service of Process Under the Hague Convention


Germany recognizes both formal and informal service, but there are requirements in order for them to be considered proper service in the eyes of the German court. Under Article 5, Germany has specified certain conditions under which each type of service is acceptable. 


Germany allows for informal service through court officials or a bailiff (still completed through the Hague Convention), but under Article 5(2) individuals may refuse this type of service without giving a reason why. There are also instances where service via agent will be adequate for a case. By going through the informal method, you can save considerable time and money in comparison to the formal method. 

To find out if your case can handle through an informal method of service, contact us. 


Serving in Germany can be complicated by the options of both formal and informal methods that are recognized under the eyes of the German courts. Choosing the right method is necessary in order to ensure judgments and appropriate case results can be enforced. Should the incorrect method be chosen, the German courts will not enforce the ruling. 

The staff of DGR Legal are not lawyers, nor is our organization a law firm. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Rather, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  

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