Entry of a marriage concluded abroad in the German marriage register


Wedding ring , computer generated image. 3d render., © colourbox


General information

If a German national has entered into a marriage abroad, which is recognized as valid under German law, the marriage can be recorded in the marriage register at the competent registry office in Germany upon application, and a German marriage certificate can be issued.

As a German what name do I bear after marriage?

The family name of a German national does not automatically change as a result of marriage. You may therefore have to submit a name declaration as part of the subsequent application for a German marriage certificate, before you can be issued with a passport in your new name.

If both spouses are exclusively German nationals, only German law can be chosen for the name in the marriage. According to German law, the surname of a spouse at the time of marriage can be chosen as the married name. The spouse whose name does not become a married name has the option of adding or prepending his family name to the married name with a hyphen. If one of the spouses has a nationality other than German, the spouses can choose the law of the homeland of the foreign spouse. This does not apply to the choice of Ghanaian law, as this does not recognize married names.

Which documents do I have to submit for the application?

1. Marriage certificate of the spouses

2. Wife's birth certificate

3. Husband's birth certificate

4. Passport of any nationality of the wife

5. Passport of any nationality of the husband

6. If applicable, naturalization certificate of a spouse

7. If applicable, divorce decrees from previous marriages of the spouses

8. In the case of previous marriages that were divorced abroad: notice of recognition of the divorce from the German authorities à

Originals of all documents must be submitted at the time of application.

What fees are charged

At your appointment at the embassy, you initially only pay the fee for the notarization of your signatures on the name declaration application form, and the notarization of the copies of the documents to be submitted. These can be paid for with cash in GHS at the current exchange rate:

Notarization of signatures on the application 79,57 Euro
Certification of the copies for the registry office 22,92 Euro

The fees for notarizing the marriage and issuing any requested marriage certificates are set by the individual federal states and can therefore vary. The following fees apply in most cases and are for guidance only:

Entry in the marriage register (regardless of the outcome of the proceedings)

80,00 Euro
Additionally per spouse if foreign law is to be observed
45,00 Euro
Issuance of a marriage certificate
12,00 Euro
Further copies of the same certificate
6,00 Euro

These fees cannot be paid at a diplomatic mission abroad, but must be paid directly to the responsible registry office. After receipt of your application, you will receive a payment request from the registry office as well as further information on the procedure. The registry office can also request further documents from you for examination.

What is the application procedure?

Once you have prepared all the documents for the application, please book an appointment here.

The embassy does not process any applications itself, but forwards them to the responsible registry office, if you wish. However, you also have the option of sending your application directly to the competent registry office.

The registry office at the last place of residence of a spouse in Germany or, if both spouses have never lived in Germany, the registry office I in Berlin is responsible for processing your application.

If you submit your application through the embassy and make a name declaration, both spouses must be present at the appointment in person, as their signatures on the application form must be notarized.

After the documents have been sent to the responsible registry office, processing and checking begins there. The processing time depends heavily on the responsible registry office and varies from place to place.

The processing time at the registry office I in Berlin is currently at least three years due to the increasing number of applications. However, if a name declaration is required, the last name of the spouse is confirmed separately by the Registrar’s Office I in Berlin, which usually takes two to three months. Once the last name has been confirmed a German passport can be issued in the new family name.

After completion of the procedure, the number of marriage certificates you require will be issued to you and sent to your German address (or, if you are no longer registered in Germany, to the German embassy in the country you reside in).

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