I was born in Germany and I need a birth certificate. How to go about it?

Our child was born in the US and we would like to apply for a German birth certificate for our child. What do we have to do?

I want to get married in Germany. Which documents do I need?

I got married in the US and want to change my last name in my passport. What do I have to fill out?

I have received news from Germany that I have become an heir of an estate. What do I have to do now?

If you have one of these or a similar question regarding family matters the German missions in the US provide you with more information on the following.

Name Declaration / Naming law


German citizens are subject to German law with respect to their use of a name. The possible names which may be used under German law may deviate from those entered in US vital records or identification documents.

Name Declaration

Registration of a child's birth

Drei Babys in der Universitätsfrauenklink in Leipzig

If a German citizen is born abroad, the birth may, on application, be documented in the register of births at the competent registrar’s office (“Standesamt”) in Germany and a German birth certificates...

Birth Registration

Birth Certificate from Germany


You were born in Germany and your birth was registered with the competent registrar's office but you lost your original birth certificate? Information on how to obtain a new birth certificate from Germany is provided here.

Birth Certificate

Registration of a Marriage


If a German citizen is getting married abroad, the marriage may, on application, be documented in the register of marriages at the competent registrar’s office (“Standesamt”) in Germany and a German marriage certificates can be issued.

Registration of a Marriage

Marriage in Germany


In Germany marriage may only be contracted before a registrar, a religious ceremony is optional. This instructional pamphlet conveys general information only. Please contact the appropriate registrar's office in Germany ("Standesamt") for detailed information.

Marriage in Germany

Inheritance Matters: Estate in Germany


General Information According to German law, the estate located in Germany of a decedent underlies the principle of 'universal succession,' meaning that the heirs become owners of the decedent's esta...

Inheritance, Estate in Germany

Child Abduction


The prime legal instrument in cases of international child abduction is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Every country party to the Convention has instituted central authorities responsible for taking all appropriate measures to ensure the immediate return of children illegally taken to or detained in such country.

Child Abduction

Finding relatives and friends in Germany

Family, (c) colourbox.com

On data protection grounds, German authorities cannot provide information on places of residence. German Missions are, therefore, not in a position to help finding relatives or friends in Germany. You may find the address you are looking for in the online version of the German telephone directory or via an Internet search.

Further information

Consulate Finder

German Missions in the United States

Nine German Missions throughout the US offer consular services. Each Mission covers a specific geographic region. To find out which Mission can assist you, please use our Consulate Finder.

Please Note:


Due to the re­launch of the Federal Office of Administration's (BVA) website, the English version of the BVA-website is currently offline.  We will restore the links as soon as the English version of BVA website is online again.  In the meantime, please use our legal information in German language.

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