Registering a marriage in the German marriage register
If a German national has married outside Germany and the marriage is valid under German law, the spouses can have the marriage registered in the German marriage register in order to obtain a German marriage certificate.
The spouses do not need to apply jointly; either spouse can apply for registration. However, if you would like during the registration to make a declaration of marrried name, both spouses must attend the appointment in person.
This information also applies to same-sex civil partnerships accordingly.
If you would like to apply for registration of your marriage in the German marriage register (with or without a declaration of married name), the necessary documents must be sent to the Embassy or Consulate General as simple copies (NO ORIGINALS!) before booking an appointment.
The following documents are required in order to register a marriage:
- Completed form (please complete legibly not using block capital letters, but do not sign yet!). In case a name declaration is not required, please leave that section blank. If a name declaration is required, choose one naming option only. The form can be downloaded below.
- Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
- Valid passports or national identity cards of both spouses/civil partners
- Proof of German citizenship of at least one of the spouses/civil partners: valid German identity document (passport or ID), naturalisation certificate or citizenship certificate (Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis); if you do not possess either of the aforementioned proofs, please contact our citizenship department via our contact form before applying for the marriage registration: German citizenship
- Birth certificates of both spouses/civil partners (“full” version stating the parents; if a spouse/ civil partner was born in Germany, a current extract from the register of births will be required instead of the birth certificate)
- If you and your spouse/ civil partner have children from your relationship, your children’s birth certificates (“full” version stating the parents)
- German deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) or current registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) for your (last) residence in Germany
- Proof of residence in the UK (e.g. council tax bill or utility bill)
- Evidence of married name/ shared name in civil partnership, if applicable (e.g. name certificate issued by German registry office)
- If applicable, marriage certificates/ civil partnership certificates for all previous marriages/ civil partnerships
- If applicable, proof of dissolution of any previous marriages/civil partnerships (e.g. death certificates or divorce decree absolute)
- If the German spouse has had a previous marriage which was divorced outside of Germany, please read our information on the recognition of foreign divorces: Marriage-related matters
- In case of divorce in an EU country (except Denmark) after 1 March 2001: a certificate under Art. 39 (Annex 1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003, has to be presented. You can apply for such a certificate with the court that issued the divorce decree; in the UK it is called Form D180.
- In case of divorce outside of Germany and outside of the European Union the registry office will most likely require the formal recognition of the foreign divorce. We therefore strongly recommend you having the divorce recognised before applying for the marriage registration.
- 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)
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. You can find information on how to get your British documents issued with apostilles here.
Fees will be payable to the registry office in Germany for registration of a marriage registered abroad and for issue of the German marriage certificates. These fees are subject to the law of the federal state in which the registry office is located and may also vary according to the case. The fee will probably be between 80 and 120 euros.
Usually the registry office will send a request for payment of the fees before beginning to process the application. Fees payable to the registry office cannot be paid through the German Embassy or Consulate; they must be paid direct to the registry office (by bank transfer from the UK or through relatives or friends in Germany).
The processing times for registering a marriage differ from one registry office to another, but can be long. If neither of the spouses/ civil partners has ever been resident in Germany, the processing time will be at least two to three years. The Embassy and Consulate are unable to influence processing times in Germany and also cannot predict how long the procedure will take.
Registration of marriage in the German marriage register
Registration of civil partnership in the German marriage register