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 registry 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 at the Embassy 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 Embassy 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 New Zealand) 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 recognised in Germany. To officially declare a married name according to German law you will have to formally submit a name declaration at the Embassy or with one of the Honorary Consuls.
This apply to civil unions as well.
Both spouses/civil partners must be present in person as both their signatures have to be certified on the name declaration form.
If you would like to submit your name declaration at the Office of our Honorary Consul in Christchurch, please contact us beforehand.
At the appointment, the following documents are required as originals:
Please note that all New Zealand documents (such as birth certificates and marriage certificates) must carry a paper-apostille. These can be sent directly to the German Embassy. Information can be found here:
- Completed name declaration form (please write in capital letters and do not sign the form)
- Valid passports for both spouses/civil partners (or German identity card/ Personalausweis)
- Birth certificates of both spouses/civil partners
- Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
- Divorce decree absolute for divorcees
- Naturalisation certificate for naturalised German nationals or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis” (if applicable)
- 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 certificates (“full” version – stating the parents) for all children the spouses have together.