Marriage in Germany
In Germany, marriage may only be contracted before a registrar. It is suggested that foreign citizens contact the appropriate registrar's office (Standesamt) for detailed information. This instructional pamphlet conveys general information only. Application should be filed with the registrar's office where either party has his or her residence. If neither party has a residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, one of the following central registrar's offices should be contacted:
Borgfelder Str. 64
Standesamt I Berlin
These offices can give permission to any registrar's office in their district to perform the function.
A religious ceremony is optional.
The parties must register their intention to marry with the registrar.
Documents to submit
Foreign citizens are required to submit the following documents to the registrar:
1. Identification document with photograph (e.g. passport, identity card)
2. Original birth certificate or certified copy showing parents' names. A translation might be required. A baptismal certificate is not acceptable. Certificate of Naturalization must also be exhibited if applicant has been naturalized.
3. If widowed, original death certificate or certified copy of deceased spouse. A translation might be required.
4. If divorced, copy of final decree showing the seal of the court which, if marriage was dissolved by a US court, must be dated after the end of the interlocutory period or original decree showing date filed or, if filing date is not shown, in addition a certificate from the court stating that no appeal was filed.
All documents listed under No. 4 must be accompanied by translations into German, made by a certified German translator.
If the previous marriage was dissolved by a court other than a German court, the divorce decree might have to be approved by the appropriate German State Ministry of Justice.
5. If a minor, a statement executed by a legal representative, i.e. father and mother or guardian, before a notary public, giving consent in accordance with the laws of the individual's country. Since some German States require a special form of consent, the appropriate registrar should be contacted for detailed information.
6. All foreigners marrying in Germany require an "Ehefähigkeitszeugnis" which is a Certificate of Free Status stating that they are legally free to marry. This document may be obtained at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin or at a U.S. Consulate WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MUNICH. Residents of Bavaria may take the oath on this document directly at the Standesamt and do not need to come to the Consulate.
7. Medical certificate (blood test) might be required.
The registrar's office will provide the basic information. The registrar's office will also decide which personal documents are required.
It is advisable to contact the registrar's office well in advance to make sure that the marriage can be contracted at the intended date. The registrar's office will answer any further questions which may arise.
If you and your future wife/husband intend to establish a joint residence in Germany, please see link below for further information on getting a residence permit.