Registration of a Marriage
If a German citizen is getting married abroad, the marriage may be registered upon request at the competent Registrar’s Office (“Standesamt”) in Germany and a German marriage certificate will be issued.
Which documents do we have to complete?
Download the application form here:
Application form in German, barrier-free
Application form, bilingual, not barrier-free
Please print out the application form and complete it carefully. Do not use block capital letters because this could result in deviated spelling.
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.
General information on name declaration for spouses
How do we have to submit the application?
The Registrar’s Office in Germany that was the last place of residency of one of the spouses is responsible for processing the application. If neither of the spouses ever resided in Germany, the Registrar’s Office I in Berlin is the appropriate office for processing the marriage registration.
The German Consular Missions in the U.S. however do not process the applications, but forward them, upon request, to the appropriate Registrar’s Office in Germany. You however also have the option to send your application directly to the appropriate Registrar’s Office. In this case, your signatures would have to be notarized by a U.S. Notary Public.
If you wish to submit your application through a German Consular Mission, both spouses need to be present during the appointment, since both of their signatures on the form must be notarized.
What documents do we need?
If you would like to directly submit the application to the Registrar’s Office in Germany, please send in one completed application form, including the documents mentioned below as notarized copies or in the original. Copies may be notarized by the German Consular Mission or a Notary Public, see information leaflet.
If you would like to submit your application through the German Consular Mission, please present two completed application forms as well as the documents mentioned below as notarized copies (plus one set of simple copies), or in the original:
marriage certificate of the spouses (issued by the “Registrar/Clerk of the Court”)
passports of both spouses; for non-U.S. citizens residence permit (visa or Green Card)
birth certificates of both spouses
in case of dual citizenship, U.S. Naturalization Certificate with “Beibehaltungsgenehmigung”
if applicable, German Naturalization Certificate or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis”
if applicable, divorce decree or death certificate
- if applicable, deregistration from Germany (“Abmeldebescheinigung”)
The Registrar’s Offices in Germany have the right to request apostilles and translations of all foreign documents. It is up to the discretion of the competent Registrar’s Office whether the documents are accepted with or without an apostille and translation.
Based on the experiences of the German Missions in the U.S., depending on the individual Registrar’s Office, the requirements for the documents that have to be submitted vary considerably. This applies to how the documents are being certified (notarized by a U.S. Notary Public or a German Consular Officer), as well as to what kind of documents need to be presented (certified copies or originals/with or without an apostille/with or without a translation into German). In order to expedite the processing of your application, we recommend that you contact the appropriate Registrar’s Office in Germany prior to submitting your application. This would also include inquiring about the possibility of sending the documents directly to the Registrar’s Office without involving the German Missions.
What is the fee for registering the marriage?
During your appointment at the Embassy, you initially only pay the fee for notarizing your signature(s) and for notarizing the copies of the supporting documents. You may pay the fee in cash in US-Dollars at the current exchange rate or with credit card (Visa or Mastercard, the amount will be charged in Euros):
notarization of the signature(s) on the application form
notarization of the copies of the required supporting documents
26.21 - 28.54EUR
The fees for registering the marriage as well as for issuing the marriage certificate(s) are set by the individual German Federal State and may therefore vary. In most cases, the following fees are charged. This is however only a guideline:
Registering the marriage in the records (regardless of the outcome of the processing)
Additional fees if foreign law is applied
Issuing the marriage certificate
each additional copy
he fees cannot be paid at the German Consular Mission, but must be settled with the respective Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will send you a payment request after it received your 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 three 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.
Which German Consular Mission serves my U.S. home state?
To find out which of the nine German Consular Missions in the U.S. serves your U.S. home state, which is the correct mailing address or whether you need to schedule an appointment to submit the application in person, please use our interactive consulate finder