Getting married in Australia
The German Missions in Australia have no authorization to act as a registry and therefore cannot solemnise marriages. It is, however, possible to get married in accordance with Australian law at an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. For detailed information concerning the procedure and the required documents, please contact the competent Central Registry of the state in which the marriage should take place. Regulations in different states of Australia may vary.
|New South Wales
After the wedding ceremony, a Certificate of Marriage/Marriage Certificate will be issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. German authorities might not always recognize these certificates. It is therefore advisable to have the marriage certificate authenticated by a so called 'apostille' before use in Germany.
In Australia, there is also the option to have the wedding ceremony performed by a registered 'Marriage Celebrant'. However, the 'Certificate of Marriage' or 'Marriage Certificate' issued by these private celebrants are not recognized in Germany. It is therefore necessary to obtain an official marriage certificate from the relevant Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages. The marriage celebrants are obliged to notify the competent Australian Registry within 14 days of a marriage solemnized by them.
After the marriage, you have the option of changing your last name and getting a “married name”.
Name declaration after marriage
Certificate of no impediment to marriage
A certificate of no impediment to marriage is a proof for one's nubility. The competent authority in Germany to issue this certificate is the registry office of your last domicile in Germany. If you never lived in Germany, the Registry Office 1 (Standesamt I) in Berlin is the competent registry to issue the certificate. Information can be found on their website (in German):
Your signature on the application form has to be certified by a German (Honorary) Consulate. Please make an appointment and bring your passport with you. To find out which documents have to be sent with the application, please contact your competent registry office directly.
Getting married in Germany
If you want to get married in Germany, please contact the “Standesamt” (registry office) of the town where the marriage will take place and will get registered. Only the competent registry office will be able to tell you which documents will be needed and whether they have to be translated and/ or whether you will need an apostille for your Australian certificates.
The Registry Office might ask you to provide a “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” from Australia as proof of your nubility. In Australia, there are two options:
- “Single Status Certificate” - issued by the competent Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
- “Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage” issued by the Australian Foreign Ministry (DFAT)
Please contact your German Registry Office to determine which document will be needed. In some cases, the German Registry Office might ask for a “eidesstattliche Versicherung” (affidavit) to confirm that you are not married. In these cases, please contact the German Consulate Sydney.
Contact the German Consulate Sydney
Registration of marriage
German law does not require the registration of a marriage concluded abroad of a German national with a German authority. However if you would like to obtain a German marriage certificate, you can file an application to register the marriage in the German marriage register.
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.
Please note that an Australian “de facto” partnership cannot be registered in the German marriage registry.
If you want to apply for a German marriage certificate, please make your appointment online
The following documents are required as originals and two photocopies each:
- Completed form (please write in capital letters and do not sign the form yet)
Application form registration of marriage
- Marriage certificate
- Valid passports for both partners (or German identity card/Personalausweis)
- Naturalisation certificate and “Beibehaltungsurkunde” if applicable
- Birth certificates of partners
- If applicable: Proof of a married name (Bescheinigung über die Namensführung in der Ehe issued by a German registrar’s office)
- If applicable: certificates of all previous marriages/civil partnerships
- Divorce orderse for divorcees
- Proof of residence in Australia (e.g. Australien driver's licence)
- German deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) from your last German place of residence or current registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) from your most recent address in Germany
- English or German translations of foreign documents (usually not required for English or “international” documents, for example international birth certificates)
- Birth certificates for all children the partners have together
Depending on the case more documents can become necessary or may subsequently be requested by the relevant register office (Standesamt) in Germany.
Your application will then be forwarded to the competent register office (Standesamt) in Germany, where it will be processed.
Two different fees incur;
1) Fees to be paid at your appointment at the (Honorary) Consulate for certifying your signature on the application form (20 EUR without name declaration, 25 EUR with name declaration) and certifying the copies to be sent to the Registry Office in Germany (10 EUR per document). All fees to be in paid in AUD according to current exchange rate.
2) Fees charged by the Registry Office in Germany for processing your application and issueing a marriage certificate are usually between 80 and 120 EUR and are to be paid directly to the Registry Office per bank transfer. These fees cannot be paid to the Consulates in Australia. Once your application is processed in Germany, you will receive an email with payment details.
Please note that we 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 and might amount to a few years.
Recognition of de facto partnerships in Germany
“De facto” relationships are not recognized in Germany. This means that even if you are in a “de facto” partnership in Australia, your relationsship status in Germany would still be “Single” (unmarried). This may have consequences in different areas, such as family law, inheritage law and visa matters. If you have any questions, please contact the German Consulate in Sydney
Same-sex couples, who live in a “de facto” partnership in Australia, can get their partnership recognized by entering “eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft” (registered life partnership) in Germany. The competent authority is the Registry Office of the German partner's place of residence in Germany. If the German partner is no longer registered in Germany, the Registry Office 1 (Standesamt 1) in Berlin is the competent authority.