Apply for a marriage certificate exemption for foreigners

If you, as a foreign national, wish to marry in Germany, the conditions for marriage are determined by the law that applies in your home country. The aim of this regulation is to prevent marriage from being recognised in Germany, but not in your home country. Especially for future children, it is of great importance that a marriage concluded in Germany is also recognised in the country of origin of the foreign parent. Therefore, you must in principle present a certificate of matrimonial capacity from your home country, in which the internal authority of your home state confirms that the intended marriage does not prevent marriage under the law of the home state. If you have more than one nationality, the law of the country with which you are most closely associated shall apply. If you are also german, German nationality takes place. You may be exempted from this obligation in individual cases by the President of the competent Higher Regional Court in whose district the marriage has been registered. As a rule, this exemption is eligible for Nationals of such States whose authorities do not issue certificates of matrimonial capacity. Nationals of States issuing matrimonial certificates where this is objectively impossible. This applies, inter alia, to situations in which foreign law fails to marry for reasons incompatible with the freedom of marriage guaranteed by the Basic Law (e.B. if foreign home law prohibits remarrying after divorce) Recognised asylum-seekers, foreign refugees, homeless foreigners and stateless persons with permanent residence in Germany do not need a certificate of matrimonial capacity or exemption. Your legal status must be proven by means of a travel card. In the event of an exemption, the President of the Higher Regional Court shall examine, instead of the foreign authority, whether the marriage is precluded by a marriage obstacle under home law or whether a marriage requirement is missing. Even under German law, there must be no obstacle to marriage. In this context, it may be necessary to examine whether any pre-marriages have been effectively dissolved. The exemption is valid for a period of six months.

Evidence of identity, nationality and descent, marital status and, where applicable, the dissolution of premarital marriage(s) All documents must be presented in their original form. The registry office provides information on the form in which (e.B. with apostille or legalisation) the documents are eligible for use. Proof of earnings for both fiancées, which give the monthly net income, for the calculation of the processing fee (for the court decision)

Forms: at the registry office

The application for exemption from the payment of a certificate of matrimonial capacity always presupposes the registration of a marriage with the competent registry office. The application for exemption can only be made through the registry office. Preliminary and state-of-the-art enquiries are also not to be addressed to the Higher Regional Court, but exclusively to the registry office.

Be sure to plan the possible duration of the process to be exempted from the delivery of a marriage certificate during your wedding preparations.
Register your marriage with the registry office responsible for you. Apply there for exemption from the application for a certificate of matrimonial capacity (application form). The registrar prepares the application and advises you on the documents that are still required in individual cases. The application will be forwarded to the competent Higher Regional Court with the complete documents and evidence.

Responsible for the content
Senator for Justice and Constitution of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

Last update or date of publication