Types of documents

Public documents are documents (such as civil status documents, certificates, university diplomas, etc.), which

  • were established in the prescribed form by the competent authorised Austrian authority or an Austrian court empowered to issue such a document,
  • were established in the prescribed form by a publicly appointed authenticator (notary public, civil engineer, architect, consulting engineers) within their scope of business,
  • were declared public documents by other legal procedures or
  • were issued abroad as public documents.

Without further formal requirements Austrian public documents are presumed authentic and establish full proof of what is decreed or declared by official direction in such a document or attested and/or testified by the authority or authenticator. (§ 310 par. 1 and § 292 par. 1 of the Austrian, Code of Civil Procedure, Zivilprozessordung/ZPO).

This presumption of authenticity and accuracy is not applicable to foreign documents, which generally require authentication/legalisation (§ 311 Abs. 2 of the Austria Code of Civil Procedure , Zivilprozessordung/ZPO).

All other documents are private documents which do not have to meet special formal requirements.