Applying for a certificate of legal capacity to marry in Germany

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Are you a Dutch national living in Germany and you need a certificate of legal capacity to marry (Ehefähigkeitszeugnis)? If you have never lived in the Netherlands and wish to marry in Germany or the Netherlands, you can get this document by emailing the Dutch embassy in Berlin.

If you wish to marry in another country you have to apply for the certificate at the Dutch embassy in that country.

Warning: If you are a Dutch national and live in the Netherlands (or have lived in the Netherlands previously), the step-by-step plan on this page does not apply to you. You can get a certificate of legal capacity to marry (verklaring van huwelijksbevoegdheid) from the Dutch municipality where you live or the last municipality you lived in before you left the Netherlands. Go to the website of the relevant municipality for more information.

Through the steps below, apply for a certificate of legal capacity to marry via e-mail.

Step 1: Gather the documents that you need

To apply for a certificate of legal capacity to marry, you will need to provide a number of other documents. The certificate of legal capacity to marry will also give the details of the person you intend to marry.

Which documents must you and your partner provide?

  • A valid passport or identity card (ID card).

  • Proof of registration of the German municipality (Meldeambt or Burgeramt) where you live, stating your address and marital status. You can apply for this document as an erweitere Meldebescheinigung mit Angaben des Familienstandes/Civilstandes. You can apply for this document at the municipality where you are registered. At many municipalities this can be done online.
    More information about how and where to apply for the document can be found on the German government website (information in German).
  • An official copy of your birth certificate.
  • If you were previously married or in a registered partnership:
    • proof of divorce (divorce certificate or court judgment), or
    • proof of termination of registered partnership, or
    • a death certificate

You may need to have non-Dutch documents translated and legalised.

Do you have all the required documents? Then make a pdf of each document. A photo of your documents is not allowed.

Step 2: Email the documents to the embassy

Send an email to the Dutch embassy in Berlin:

In your email you should state:

  • the type of document you need (in the subject line)
  • your initials and surname (in the subject line)
  • your phone number
  • why you need the certificate. This will be included on the certificate.
Attention: As you will receive the certificate by post, don't forget to state your address in your email.

Attach the required documents to your email as PDFs.

You may be asked to send extra documents if your application is not complete, if anything is unclear or we have questions.

You can use the smartphone app KopieID to make a secure copy of your identity document using your phone or tablet. Find out more about the KopieID app on (information in Dutch).

If the attachments exceed the maximum size for 1 email, divide the documents over 2 or more emails.

Step 3: Pay the fee

Applying for a consular certificate costs money. Once we have established your application is complete, you will receive an email containing:

  • Your reference number.
    Give this number as the payment reference when you pay the fee. If you do not, it may take longer for your certificate to be issued.
  • Information about how to pay.
    You will need to transfer the amount in euros to account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.

Follow the payment instructions in the email.

The fee for a consular certificate is €30. Take additional postal charges in to account. The email with payment instructions will indicate the additional fee.

Step 4: Receive the certificate

Once your payment has been received and processed, it will take on average 4 to 6 weeks to process your application. If you are asked to send extra documents because your application is not complete, it will take longer.

You will receive the certificate by UPS courier.

The certificate is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. In Germany, the certificate must be valid at the time of the marriage. Therefore, do not apply for the certificate too early.

You will receive a multilingual standard form in Dutch, English, French and German. On the back of the form there will be an explanatory note in Spanish, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish. If you need the certificate in another language, you will need to have it translated by a sworn translator. Ask the organisation requesting the certificate whether you need to have the certificate and/or the translation legalised.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.