The name of a German national does not automatically change by marriage alone. In Germany, the spouses can opt for one of their last names to become a so-called "married name" (Ehename) when they get married (or later) at the register office in Germany. The spouse whose name does not become the married name can add his or her previous name with a hyphen in front of or behind the married name.
If you got married in Germany and the married name is stated on your German marriage certificate, a further name declaration at the Embassy is not necessary. You can directly apply for a passport with the new name.
If you got married outside of Germany and have made a name declaration at the time of your wedding and your marriage certificate shows evidence of this, please contact the Embassy or the Consulate General in order to find out whether this name change is recognised by German law.
If no name declaration has been made (as is the case with all marriages in the UK) the name has not changed and each spouse still bears the same name as before the marriage – even if one spouse has already been using the other spouse’s name in everyday life. Please also note that a name change by deed poll is not valid for a German citizen. To officially declare a married name according to German law you will have to formally submit a name declaration at the Embassy or the Consulate General.
The explanations above apply for civil partnerships, too.
You need to book an appointment to submit the name declaration (appointment booking system below). Please read the general information about naming law and the procedure on our website before booking an appointment. Both spouses/civil partners must be present in person as both their signatures have to be certified on the name declaration form.
If you would like to submit your name declaration with one of our Honorary Consuls, please contact us beforehand:
At the appointment, the following documents are required as originals and two photocopies each:
- Completed name declaration form (please fill out in German and do not sign the form) which can be downloaded below
- Valid passports for both spouses/civil partners (or German identity card/ Personalausweis)
- Birth certificates of both spouses/civil partners
- Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
- Divorce decree absolute for divorcees
- Naturalisation certificate for naturalised German nationals or "Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis" (if applicable)
- Proof of residence in the UK (for example council tax bill or utility bill)
- German deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) from your last German place of residence or current registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) from your most recent address in Germany
- Translations of foreign documents (usually not required for English or “international” documents, for example international birth certificates)
- Birth certificates (“full” version – stating the parents) for all children the spouses have together. If the children were born in the UK, please bring along the first birth certificates, not a re-registration.
Depending on the case more documents can become necessary or may subsequently be requested by the competent registry office (Standesamt) in Germany. Some register offices will also ask for German translations of documents in English or Apostilles on foreign documents. You will be informed by email later on in the process if this will be necessary in your case.