Registration of a Marriage

ehe_ring Enlarge image (© www.colourbox.com)

If a German citizen is getting married abroad, the marriage may, on application, be documented in the register of marriages at the competent registrar’s office (“Standesamt”) in Germany and a German marriage certificates can be issued.

Effective November 1, 2017, there is a change in German law concerning the jurisdiction of registrar's offices for the registration of marriage abroad and further family matters. To read more, please click chere:  Jurisdiction of registrar's offices (Nov 1, 2017)

What do I need to fill out?

Download the Application Form here:

Application for recording a marriage abroad in the German marriage register [pdf, 355.51k]

Please print out the application form and complete it carefully (do not use block capital letters because this could result in deviating spellings!).

The name of a German citizen does not change automatically by marriage alone. Therefore, a name declaration might be necessary as part of the marriage registration before a German passport can be issued in the new name.

The name declaration is included in the application form for the marriage registration on page 3. If the spouses are both German nationals, only German law can be chosen for the name usage. If one of the two spouses has a different nationality, then the law of the country of citizenship of that spouse can also be chosen instead. For general information on name declaration for spouses, please click on the link below.

Name declaration for spouses

What documents do I need?

In addition to the completed application form, the following documents have to be submitted as certified copies with one set of simple copies:

  • marriage certificate of the spouses (the registrar’s office I in Berlin needs the marriage certificate issued by the registrar/clerk of the court)

  • passports of both spouses; for Non-US citizens proof of legal status in the US (visa or Green Card)

  • current certified extract of the birth record with official notes ("aktuelle beglaubigte Abschriften aus dem Geburtenregister mit Hinweisteil") of both spouses, if birth was recorded in a birth register in Germany (please contact your German registrar's office to obtain a current extract!)
    or

    birth certificates
    of both spouses, if birth was only recorded abroad

  • in case of dual citizenship, US Naturalization Certificate with "Beibehaltungsgenehmigung"

  • if applicable, German Naturalization Certificate or "Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis"

  • if applicable, divorce decree or death certificate

  • if applicable, deregistration from Germany („Abmeldebescheinigung”)

If the documents to be submitted are not in German or English, a translation must additionally be submitted. Further documents may be required on an individual basis.

What does it cost?

The signatures of both spouses must be certified, if a name declaration is necessary. The certification of signatures can be done either by a notary public or at the competent German mission if both spousess are present. The fee for the signature certification at the German missions is € 25.00 and can be paid in cash at the daily exchange rate in U.S. dollars or by credit card in euros (Visa or Mastercard only).

The registrar’s office in Germany requires the submission of certified photocopies of the supporting documents. Copies may be certified by a notary public. Please ensure that the notary public him-/herself states on the document that the copy corresponds with the original (certified true copy). Alternatively, the copies may also be certified for a fee of € 10.00 at the German missions, if the documents are submitted in original with two sets of copies. The fee can be paid in cash at the daily exchange rate in U.S. dollars or by credit card in euros (Visa or Mastercard only).

Once the application is complete, it is forwarded to the competent registrar’s office in Germany, where it will be processed.

Euro Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/chromorange) The fees for the recording of the marriage and the issuance of the requested marriage certificates are set by each individual German state and therefore can vary. In most cases, the following fees apply:

The basic fee for recording the marriage in the marriage register is € 60.00. This amount increases by € 20.00 if foreign law must be observed. The current fees for a marriage certificate are € 10.00, for every additional copy of the same document which is ordered at the same time, the fee is € 5.00. The Registrar’s Office I in Berlin will forward the necessary account information upon receipt of the application.

How long will it take to receive the marriage certificate?

The processing times depends on the registrar's office in charge and varies significantly from city to city.

Given the ever increasing numbers of applications, please be advised that processing at the Registrar’s Office I in Berlin takes at least two years. If a name declaration is necessary, the last name of the spouse is confirmed separately by the Registrar’s Office I in Berlin, which usually takes two to three months. Once the last name has been confirmed a German passport can be issued in the new name.

Where do I have to go?

To find out which of the nine German missions in the US is responsible for you, the correct mailing address or whether you need an appointment to personally submit the application, please use our interactive consulate finder.

German Missions in the United States

Consulate Finder

Nine German Missions throughout the US offer consular services. Each Mission covers a specific geographic region. To find out which Mission can assist you, please use our Consulate Finder.