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Changing the order of your forenames

As of 1 November 2018, German nationals can change the order of their forenames by making an officially certified declaration.

Please note that it is not possible to change the spelling of your forenames, add new forenames or drop forenames as part of this declaration.

NB: It is your personal decision whether you would like to change the order of your forenames. When the procedure has been completed, you can have the order of your forenames altered in official documents (passport, certificates etc.); you can of course be called whatever you like, regardless of the declaration.

Changing the order of your forenames can only be done once and is irrevocable. The declaration only becomes effective upon receipt by the registry office in Germany. After examining the application, the registrar will issue a certificate certifying the new name.

If you would like to make a declaration on a change of order of your forenames, the necessary documents must be sent to the Embassy or Consulate General before booking an appointment.

Generally the following documents are required for a change of order of forenames:

  • Completed application form
  • Valid passport or German identity card
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of residence in the UK (e.g. council tax bill or utility bill)
  • German deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) or current registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) for your (last) residence in Germany
  • In most cases, translations of foreign documents (usually not required for English or international documents, e.g. international birth certificates in more than one language)
  • German marriage certificate/civil partnership certificate, if applicable

Please send a single copy of each document (no originals!) to the Embassy or Consulate General as described under “General information on procedure and issue of appointments”.

Depending on the case more documents may become necessary and be requested at a later stage by the registry office.

In particular, German translations of documents (including documents in English) may be required at a later stage. Occasionally apostilles are also required on foreign documents.

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