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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Register marriage


You must register your intended marriage in person at the registry office in whose jurisdiction you have your place of residence or habitual abode.

To speed up the procedure, you can send the registry office your preferred date for the marriage as well as the data required to check your eligibility for marriage by pre-registering.

The place where you register the marriage does not have to be the place where your marriage is to take place. In principle, you can get married at any registry office in Germany.

A civil marriage and a church wedding are independent of each other.

No witnesses need to be present at the marriage ceremony. However, if you wish, you can appoint 1 or 2 people as witnesses.

You can decide at the wedding or at a later date whether you wish to have a joint or separate surname.

The following may register a marriage

  • persons of full age

Further requirements:

  • A marriage may not be entered into before the age of majority.
  • Marriage between relatives in a direct line (e.g. parents and their children) and between siblings and half-siblings is not permitted. This also applies in principle if the relationship was established by adoption.
  • Double marriages are not permitted in Germany. A previous marriage must have been dissolved by death, divorce or other legally binding court judgment before a new marriage can be entered into.
  • If a previous marriage was divorced abroad, the divorce must generally first be expressly recognized in Germany in order for it to take effect here. There are exceptions to this principle, particularly in most European Union (EU) countries. A previously established civil partnership must also be dissolved.

When applying, you must submit

  • if you have German citizenship and are entering into your first marriage:
    • valid identity card or passport
    • Certificate of residence from the registration office (not older than 4 weeks)
  • if your birth was certified in Germany:
    • current certified excerpt from the (electronic) register of births or current certified copy from the register of births (in paper form) from the registry office of the place of birth
  • if your birth was notarized abroad:
    • current birth certificate
  • if you were already married or in a civil partnership, you will also need
    • Marriage certificate and final divorce decree or
    • Proof of the establishment and dissolution of the civil partnership or
  • if your former partner has died in the meantime:
    • the marriage certificate or
    • proof of the establishment of the civil partnership and
    • the death certificate of the former partner
  • If your divorce took place abroad, you should find out in advance from the registry office whether a recognition procedure is required. Please bring this with you:
    • all marriage certificates
    • all legally binding divorce decrees (with facts and reasons for the decision)
    • a complete translation by a sworn translator in Germany
  • if you have children together with your future spouse or if you have custody of children from previous marriages, you will also need the following:
    • Birth certificates of the children
  • are required for a partner from abroad:
    • valid identity card/passport or other proof of identification
    • Proof of nationality, if this is not evident from the identity card or passport
    • Certificate of residence from the registration office (not older than 4 weeks)
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate
    • Foreign language documents


For partners from countries in which certificates of no impediment to marriage are issued, it is advisable to seek advice from the registry office about exemption from the obligation to present a certificate of no impediment to marriage. This is issued by the President of the Higher Regional Court. The registrar takes the application and forwards it.

For foreign-language certificates, the registry office generally requires complete translations into German, prepared by a publicly appointed and sworn translator in Germany. Foreign documents often also require certification by the competent foreign authority. In such a case, the registry office will draw your attention to this.

  • Further documents:
    • The registry office may request additional documents, such as the naturalization certificate.

The costs vary depending on the federal state. Your local registry office will be happy to provide you with information.

If, after completing the examination, the registrar determines that the requirements for marriage have been met, you can get married within 6 months. After that, the marriage must be registered again.

  • for processing the application: up to 4 weeks depending on the registry office and individual case

Registry office in whose jurisdiction one of the spouses (fiancées) has his or her place of residence (main or secondary residence) or habitual abode

In the case of residence or habitual abode abroad: competent German mission abroad (embassy/consulate) or registry office that is to conduct the marriage

  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: yes, for pre-registration
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: yes

You must apply to register your marriage in person at your local registry office.

  • To register the marriage, you usually go to the relevant registry office together with your partner or fiancé/fiancée. You will receive all the necessary information there.
  • If one of you is unable to attend, the other can register the marriage alone. The registry office requires written authorization from the partner who is unable to attend.
  • If the registry office finds that there are no obstacles to the marriage, you will be informed that the marriage can take place. The notification can be made verbally, in writing or electronically.

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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