The name of a German national does not automatically change by marriage alone. In Germany, the spouses can opt for one of their last names to become a so-called “married name” (Ehename) when they get married (or later) at the register office in Germany. The spouse whose name does not become the married name can add his or her previous name with a hyphen in front of or behind the married name.
If you got married in Germany and the married name is stated on your German marriage certificate, a further name declaration is not necessary. You can directly apply for a passport with the new Name.
If you got married outside of Germany and have made a name declaration at the time of your wedding and your marriage certificate shows evidence of this, please contact the Consulate General in Sydney in order to find out whether this name change is recognised by German law.
If no name declaration has been made (as is the case with all marriages in Australia) the name has not changed and each spouse still bears the same name as before the marriage – even if one spouse has already been using the other spouse’s name in everyday life. Please also note that a name change by deed poll is not valid for a German citizen. To officially declare a married name according to German law you will have to formally submit a name declaration.
You need to book an appointment to submit the name declaration. Both spouses/civil partners must be present in person as both their signatures have to be certified on the name declaration form.
You can also lodge your name declaration at one of our Honorary Consuls in Australia.
It is highly recommended to lodge the name declaration as part of an application for a German marriage certificate.
At the appointment, the following documents are required as originals and two photocopies each:
- Completed name declaration form (please write in capital letters and do not sign the form)
Name declaration form
- Valid passports for both spouses (or German identity card/ Personalausweis)
- Birth certificates of both spouses
- Marriage certificate (in Australia, the marriage certificate has to be issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages . The certificate issued by a “marriage celebreants”is not sufficient!)
- if one spouse is divorced: divorce order/ certificate
- Naturalisation certificate for naturalised German nationals with “Beibehaltungsurkunde or ”Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis“ (if applicable)
- current ”VEVO“(Visa Entitlement Verification Online)
- Proof of residence in Australia (e.g Australian 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
- Translations of foreign documents (usually not required for English or ”international“ documents, for example international birth certificates)
- birth certificate of children, if applicable
Depending on the case more documents can become necessary or may subsequently be requested by the competent registry office (Standesamt) in Germany. It is recommended to contact the competent registrar beforehand in order to find out more about the local requirements.
Two different fees incur;
1) Fees to be paid at your appointment at the (Honorary) Consulate for certifying your signature on the application form (25 EUR) 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 name certificate. These fees are to be paid directly to the Registry Office per bank Transfer, they cannot be paid to the Consulates in Australia. Once your application is processed in Germany, you will receive an email with payment details.