How to Obtain Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates in Germany

Written by rose sartaguda
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How to Obtain Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates in Germany
(Denkmal mit Deutscher Flagge image by Matthias Nordmeyer from

Obtaining civil records of birth, marriage and/or death from Germany can be a challenge. For one, the country does not have a central repository for civil records. Therefore, it is necessary to get in touch with the local municipality's civil registration office for related requests. Secondly, all request letters should be written in the German language. There are several individuals and companies that offer translation services, though, as well as assistance in obtaining such vital documents.

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  1. 1

    Send a request letter (in German) to the particular local civil registration office of the municipality (Standesamt) where the person was born, married or died. Provide the full name of the individual as well as his/her specific date of birth, marriage or death, in order to facilitate a quick and easy search. You are also required to provide proof of both your identity and your relationship to the person in question (legal right to obtain such documents), as well as the reason for making such a request.

  2. 2

    Check with government archives, family history library or local parishes for birth, marriage and death records. Most state or district archives maintain duplicates of these vital documents and the family history library may keep microfilmed copies; in addition, local church books or parish registers hold essential records from baptism to burial.

  3. 3

    Contact the nearest German consulate and ask for assistance if you are having difficulty obtaining such civil records. Or check for websites of particular German cities for the contact details and specific requirements for obtaining vital documents. For a fee, commercial websites are also available to help you with such services.

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