Naming Law and Civil Status Certificates
Foto eines lachenden Babys, © www.colourbox.com
Marriage - Registration and name declaration
German law does not require the registration of a marriage concluded abroad of a German national at a German authority. However in certain cases it is recommended to apply for a German marriage certificate. The German Embassy Port-of-Spain will forward the completed application form with the needed documents to the responsible registrar’s office in Germany. The Registrar’s Office responsible for foreign marriages is the Registrar’s Office at the place where the applicant has his/her residence in Germany. If none of the spouses has ever resideded in Germany, the Registrar’s Office I in Berlin (Standesamt I in Berlin) is responsible for recording the marriage and issuing a marriage certificate. 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.
Registration of a child’s birth
The birth of a child born abroad to German parent(s) can be registered at the competent registrar’s office in Germany. There is no legal obligation to register the birth of a child to a German parent abroad, nor to request a German birth certificate. However, there is one exemption: Children who were born outside of Germany to one or more German parent(s) who themselves were also born abroad on or after January 1st, 2000, will no longer automatically acquire the German citizenship through the sole principle of descent from a German parent unless the German parent(s) register(s) the birth with the competent German mission abroad within one year of the birth of the child.
Find more information on German citizenship here.
The German Embassy Port-of-Spain will forward the completed application form with the needed documents to the responsible registrar’s office in Germany. The registrar’s office responsible for children born abroad is the registrar’s office in the place where the child or the applicant has his/her residence in Germany. In this case the birth can be register directly with the local registrar’s Office. If none of the applicants have a residence in Germany, the primary registrar's office in Berlin (Standesamt I in Berlin) is responsible for recording the birth and issuing a birth certificate. The parents of the child, the child him-/herself and his/her spouse, partner and children are entitled to register the birth of a German citizen born abroad. Any one of these people can independently submit a request to have the birth registered. In certain cases, a declaration of the child’s name when applying for a passport is necessary. This declaration differs from the birth certificate, but it can be given as well together when registering the birth.
Name Declaration for a Child
If a child of German parent(s) is born outside of Germany, the child' name is not automatically evident according to German law, even if in the foreign birth certificate of the child a surname is already indicated. A name declaration is usually necessary when applying for a passport, or when the registration of a German birth is requested. Children of parents who carry a common surname according to German law automatically receive the surnames of their parents. If the parents carry different surnames at the time of the birth of the child or do not have a common surname according to German law, a name declaration for the child is usually necessary. Both parents must be present when applying for a name declaration since their signatures must be certified. If the submitted documents are not in English or German a translations is needed. In individual cases, further documents may be required.
The fees for registering births and conducting the associated formalities vary depending on where in Germany the responsible registrar’s office is located. At the primary registrar's office in Berlin the following fees may apply: The fee for registering the birth amounts between 60,-€ to 80, - €. The birth certificate amounts to 20,-€, for every additional certificate which is ordered at the same time an extra fee of 5,-€ will apply. For just a name declaration the fee is 10 €.
The fees must be transferred to the account of the registrar’s office only after the process. The applicant will receive a letter with detailed information.
At the German Embassy additional fees for certifying copies (10,-€) and for signature certification (25,-€) may apply: The fee is converted into TT $ according to the daily exchange rate at the German Embassy and can be paid in cash or credit card. If the submitted documents are not in English or German, a translations is needed. In individual cases, further documents may be required.
If you wish to register a marriage, a birth or make a name declaration, please book an appointment under consular matters. Please download and fill out the form applicable to submit on the day of your appointment.
Name Declaration Form Registration of a child’s birth
In case of wishing to change your name after your marriage, it might be possible to declare your new Name with the responsible registrar's office (responsibility depends on the spouses last place of residence in Germany) while visiting Germany together. Please contact the registrar's office early enough in order to find out.
More information is only available in German