How can I get a British wife

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Certificate of marital status for marriage

Please contact the Certification Office of the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh by phone or email, as your signature must be certified on the application for the certificate of marital status. There you will find out which documents are necessary and which fees apply. Copies of your documents can also be certified at the certification office.

After you have certified your signature on the application, send the application to the registry office at your last German place of residence. If you have not previously had a place of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany and have always lived abroad, the registry office I in Berlin is responsible for issuing the certificate of marital status.

At the embassy / consulate general you only pay the fees for the authentication of the signature, the fees for the issuance of the certificate of marital status are due at the German registry office and cannot be paid to the diplomatic mission abroad. Further information can be obtained from the certification office.

The registrar reserves the right to request further documents to check whether there are any impediments to marriage. The processing time depends on the registry office and can take several months.

Marriages in the UK

If you would like to get married in Great Britain, please inquire about the requirements and the necessary documents directly at the British registry office. In most cases, documents that are not in English have to be translated. The German diplomatic missions in Great Britain do not produce or certify translations and, for reasons of competition, cannot recommend translators. If the British registry office requires you to have a certificate of marital status, you can obtain it from the registry office at your last German place of residence. If you are a resident of Great Britain, your signature on the application for the certificate of marital status can be certified at the certification office of the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh.

There is the possibility of civil and church weddings. A civil marriage can take place in a registry office or another institution officially registered for marriage (e.g. hotel). Church weddings can take place in churches and institutions of various faiths that have been specially authorized to marry by the British registry office, the General Register Office. You can obtain an overview of the approved bodies from the General Register Office.

If both fiancés meet the general requirements of their respective home law at the time of marriage (e.g. that they are of legal age, not married to anyone else or are related to each other, etc.) and the formal requirements of British law are met at the time of marriage, they apply after the marriage in Great Britain also for the German legal family as married.

To facilitate the use of the British marriage certificate in Germany, you can at

have a so-called apostille affixed to the marriage certificate. This is a kind of over-certification of the authenticity of the document by the British authorities according to the Hague Convention for the Exemption of Foreign Documents from Legalization of 1961, so that domestic bodies (insurance companies, tax office, registry office, etc.) can easily accept the document. Registration of this marriage is not required. If you want to change your surname in your passport, you usually have to submit a name declaration together with your spouse to the responsible German diplomatic mission abroad after the marriage.

All information on the apostille procedure for British documents can be found under the above link to the FCO.

Recognition of foreign divorces

A divorce took place abroad is generally not automatically effective for a German citizen. Information on the formal recognition of foreign divorces and exceptions to this principle can be found in the following leaflet and downloadable form:

Application for recognition of a foreign decision in matrimonial matters according to § 107 FamFG

Since June 21, 2012 applies in 14 member states of the EU (including Germany, but not the United Kingdom) the "Rome III" regulation, according to which the law applicable to divorce is determined. Further information on the associated innovations can be found in the following leaflet:

Leaflet Rome III PDF / 157 KB

Please note that your Name after a divorce does not automatically revert to your maiden name. For information on how to reassume a name that was used before the marriage, see: