Registration of a marriage in the German marriage register

a stamp made of wood lying on a document. german inscription registry office

a stamp made of wood lying on a document. german inscription registry office, © Colourbox / Erwin Wodicka - wodicka@aon.at


German law does not require the registration of a marriage concluded abroad of a German national at a German authority. However in certain cases it is recommended to apply for a German marriage certificate.

The Registrar’s Office responsible for foreign marriages is the Registrar’s Office at the place where the applicant has his/her residence in Germany. If none of the spouses has a residence in Germany, the Registrar’s Office I in Berlin (Standesamt I in Berlin) is responsible for recording the marriage and issuing a marriage certificate.

Only the spouses can apply for a marriage registration. If you wish to change your name after the marriage (name declaration), both spouses have to sign the application. If a name declaration is not required, the marriage registration can be made by either of the spouses alone.

The following documents are required as originals with two photocopies each:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof of the citizenship of the spouses (Passports or German “Personalausweis”/ID card)
  • Naturalisation certificate for naturalised German nationals or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis” if you have one
  • Birth certificates of both spouses
  • If applicable: Proof of a marriage name (certificate of a name declaration issued by a German Registrar’s Office)
  • If applicable: marriage certificates of all previous marriages
  • Divorce decree absolute for divorcees
  • Proof of residence (for example utility bill or bank statement) for Rwanda
  • A deregistration certificate (“Abmeldebescheinigung”) from your last German residence or a current registration certificate (“Meldebescheinigung”) from your (last) place of residence in Germany
  • translations of foreign language documents into either German or English
  • Birth certificates (full version - stating the parents’ names) of all children of the parents including older siblings.

Depending on the case more documents may become necessary or can be requested by the Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany at a later date.

If you are still registered in Germany, you can register your marriage with the local Registrar’s Office in Germany personally or you can apply through the German Embassy in Kigali.

If you are not sure whether a name declaration for your child is needed in your case or if you want to do the name declaration please contact us.

The fee for certifying the signature(s) on the application is 25 Euro (around 22.000 RWF). Please note that the German Embassy can only accept cash. We kindly ask you to provide an exact amount. However, due to exchange rate fluctuations the fee may change slightly without further notice. In addition the German Embassy has to charge a fee for the certification of the photocopies required by the Registrar.

Your application will then be forwarded to the competent Registrar (Standesamt) in Germany, where it will be processed. The Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany will charge a fee for initiating the procedure and issuing the marriage certificate. The fee amounts to about 70-120 EUR. You will have to pay the fee directly to the Registrar’s Office in Germany.

Please note that the German Embassy cannot predict how long this process will take. Processing times may vary considerably depending on the complexity of the case and the individual Registrar’s Office.

This page provides information for most routine cases presented to the Embassy. Due to the complexity of the German name law and the multitude of conceivable case scenarios each individual case may have to be treated differently. This information is therefore meant only as an orientation and neither substitutes legal advice based on a detailed case nor does it foreclose the decision of the registrar, which remains reserved in all cases. Should your case not be covered please contact the Embassy.

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