Marriage in Germany

Heiratsurkunde Enlarge image (© wikimedia)

General Information

In Germany, marriage can only be contracted before a registrar. It is suggested that foreign citizens contact the appropriate registrar's office (Standesamt) for detailed information. This instructional pamphlet conveys general information only. Application should be filed with the registrar's office where either party has his or her residence. If neither party has a residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, one of the following central registrar's offices should be contacted:

Bavaria:
Hauptstandesamt München
Ruppertstrasse 11
80337 München
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Southwestern Germany:
Standesamt Baden-Baden
Augustaplatz 1
76530 Baden-Baden
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Northern Germany:
Hauptstandesamt Hamburg
Borgfelder Str. 64
20537 Hamburg
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Berlin:
Standesamt I Berlin
Schönstedtstr. 5
13357 Berlin
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These offices can give permission to any registrar's office in their district to perform the function.

A religious ceremony is optional.

The parties must register their intention to marry with the registrar.

Documents to submit

Foreign citizens are generally required to submit the following documents to the registrar, please contact the competent authority for further information:

-Valid Identification document with photograph (e.g. passport, identity card)
-Original birth certificate or certified copy showing parents' names. A translation might be required. A baptismal certificate is not acceptable. Certificate of Naturalization must also be exhibited if applicant has been naturalized.3. If widowed, original death certificate or certified copy of deceased spouse. A translation might be required.
-If widowed, original death certificate or certified copy of deceased spouse. A translation might be required.
-If divorced, copy of final decree, in addition a certificate from the court stating that no appeal was filed.

All documents listed under No. 4 must be accompanied by translations into German, made by a certified German translator.

If the previous marriage was dissolved by a court other than a German court, the divorce decree might have to be approved by the appropriate German State Ministry of Justice.

-If a minor, a statement executed by a legal representative, i.e. father and mother or guardian, before a notary public, giving consent in accordance with the laws of the individual's country. Since some German States require a special form of consent, the appropriate registrar should be contacted for detailed information.
-All foreigners marrying in Germany require an "Ehefähigkeitszeugnis" which is a Certificate of Free Status stating that they are legally free to marry. You should receive this document at your resepctive Embassy or issued by the competent authority in your country.
-Medical certificate (blood test) might be required.

The registrar's office will provide the basic information. The registrar's office will also decide which personal documents are required.

It is advisable to contact the registrar's office well in advance to make sure that the marriage can be contracted at the intended date. The registrar's office will answer any further questions which may arise.

If you and your future wife/husband intend to establish a joint residence in Germany, please  see link below for further information on getting a residence permit.

National Visa Family Reunion [pdf, 128.89k]