Why register for wedding gifts
Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office
A marriage that took place abroad is generally recognized in Germany if, at the time of the marriage, the substantive legal requirements for the marriage (e.g. unmarried status, minimum age) were met for both partners in accordance with their respective home law and if the law at the place of the marriage or the home law of both spouses with regard to the Form of marriage was preserved.
There is no specific procedure for the recognition of a marriage entered into abroad in Germany and there is no single competent authority. The question of the effectiveness of the marriage made abroad for the German legal area is always only a preliminary question in connection with the decision on another official act (e.g. name declaration, entry in the tax card, etc.). This preliminary question must be decided by the authority responsible for an official act to be carried out on its own responsibility.
However, you can apply to the German registry office responsible for you to have your marriage recorded abroad notarized in the marriage register if at least one of the spouses is German, and you can also have your marriage registered with the German authorities. However, you are not required to submit such an application. There is also no obligation to change your name after the marriage. You should contact the registry office responsible for you directly for all further details.
German citizens who do not have or did not have a place of residence or habitual abode in Germany can apply for notarization in the marriage register either directly at the registry office responsible (Standesamt I in Berlin) or via the German diplomatic mission responsible for their place of residence abroad.
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