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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 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 before booking an appointment.

The following documents are required in order to register a marriage:

  • Completed form (please complete legibly in capital letters, but do not sign yet!)
  • Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
  • Valid passports of both spouses (or German identity Card)
  • Birth certificates of both spouses/civil partners (if a spouse/civil partner was born in Germany, instead of the birth certificate a current extract from the register of births will be required)
  • Proof of nationality of spouses (passport or German identity card)
  • Naturalisation certificate if a spouse has been naturalised, or nationality certificate (Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis) if applicable
  • 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)
  • Please note: in the case of divorce in an EU country (except Denmark) after 1 March 2003: certificate under Art. 39 (Annex 1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters, confirmed by the court which issued the divorce decree
  • Please also note: in the case of divorce outside Germany and outside the European Union the registry office may require recognition of the foreign divorce by the Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-discrimination in Berlin. You can find further information on this here
  • If you and your spouse/civil partner have children from your relationship, your children’s birth certificates (“full” version stating the parents)
  • If there are children from your relationship, their 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)
  • 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.

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.

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