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citizen service


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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Request a change of first name


If you want to change your first name, there must be an important reason that justifies the name change. An important reason exists if the private interests of you as the bearer of the name, which are worthy of protection, in the change of name outweigh

  • the public interest or
  • a private interest of a third party in keeping your name.

Important reasons are, for example

  • religious motives,
  • if the name is a trigger for psychological problems (for example, by association)
  • if there is a danger of confusion
  • if the name sounds offensive or ridiculous and is awkward to pronounce or complicated to write, or
  • after a gender reassignment.

Furthermore, your name must be subject to German law. This includes not only German nationals, but also persons entitled to asylum, foreign refugees and stateless persons.

A name change is not considered if you do not like your name, for example in the case of names of foreign origin. A name change is also not justified if you want to make identification by creditors more difficult.

In the case of children over the age of 1 and under the age of 16, you can only change the first name for serious reasons in the best interests of the child.

  • You have German citizenship.
  • You are entitled to asylum, a foreign refugee, a stateless person, a homeless foreigner or a quota refugee.
  • There is an important or serious reason justifying the change of name.
  • Registration certificate and valid official photo ID (identity card, passport)
  • Extract from the register of births (available at the registry office of the place of birth)
  • in case of stateless persons: travel document or entry of the aliens' registration office in the passport or passport substitute
  • in the case of homeless foreigners or persons entitled to asylum: entry of the foreigners authority in the passport or passport substitute
  • for foreign refugees: Entry of the foreigners authority in the passport or passport replacement.

For further documents, please enquire in advance at the name change authority responsible for you.

Varies depending on the administrative effort and the federal state.

Note: If the change is successful, subsequent costs will be incurred as you will have to reapply for documents, such as your identity card or passport. If the application is rejected, a fee of 10 to 50 percent of the administrative fee will be incurred.

about 6 months

Name change authority of the place of residence, usually citizens' or registry office as well as legal office.

Forms: Application for change of name (available for download on their website or on request, depending on the competent office).

Online procedure possible: no

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: no

You must apply in writing to change your first name.

  • Ask your competent authority for the application form or download it and fill it in completely. For minors, the legal representative makes the application.
  • Set out in detail the reasons for your application. The authority must weigh up and decide, taking into account all the circumstances of the individual case. The public interest in retaining the name weighs more heavily the longer the name has been used.
  • Your competent authority collects an advance on fees and then carries out the necessary investigations. In the case of persons over 14 years of age, it involves various agencies, such as the police. It obtains information from the debtors' register at the local court and, if necessary, from other offices.
  • If the requirements are met, you will receive a certificate confirming the change of name. The name change becomes effective when the certificate is handed over. Otherwise you will receive a notice of refusal.
  • The name change authority notifies other bodies of your name change. These include
    • the registration office,
    • the registry office that keeps the birth register,
    • the registry office that keeps the marriage register or the civil partnership register.
  • As soon as the change of name has become effective, you must have various documents (identity card, passport, vehicle registration document) changed. You must apply for these changes yourself.

Note: If another person is involved, for example the other parent when changing the name of a child after the parents have divorced, you will initially only receive a notice of the name change. This will state that you must wait until the name change can no longer be challenged by legal means. In these cases, the name change becomes effective under the following conditions:

  • The other person involved accepts the name change, or
  • The opposition authority or the courts confirm the name change.

First call your local authority to find out whether the application has a chance of success.

Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Home Affairs

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Landesverwaltungsamt Sachsen-Anhalt - Gefahrenabwehr, Hoheitsangelegenheiten und Sport
Hakeborner Straße 1
39112 Magdeburg, Landeshauptstadt
Post Office Box 1963
39009 Magdeburg, Landeshauptstadt
Further Authorities
Landkreis Harz - Ordnungsamt
Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 42
38820 Halberstadt, Stadt
03941 5970-4509
03941 5970-4160