German name law


Information, procedure and appointments

The regulations regarding naming and name changes are completely different in Germany and Australia. Here you can find information on the procedure, appointment booking and more.


Name declaration "married name"

The name of a German national does not change automatically by marriage. If no name declaration is made (e.g. if you got married in Australia) the name has not changed and each spouse still bears the same name as before the marriage.

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Name declaration after divorce or death of a spouse

The name of a German national does not change automatically by divorce or death of a spouse. After the divorce or death of a spouse, it is possible to change the name back to the maiden name or a previous married name by name declaration.


Name declaration for a child

If a child of German parents is born outside of Germany, the child' name is not automatically evident according to German law, even if in the foreign (e.g. Australian) birth certificate of the child a surname is already indicated.


Name declaration for children aged 18 and older

In some cases, a person is 18 years or older but his or her birth name is not determined yet in accordance to German name law. In some cases, a name declaration still has to be done.

Name declaration under public law

If you want to change your name and none of the name change possibilities in this section applies to you, you might be able to change your name „under public law“.

German name law

Deutsche Version

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Hier finden Sie die deutsche Version dieser Seite.

Make an appointment


An appointment is needed at all missions in Australia. Depending on the mission, the appointment can be made online or over the phone.

Find your nearest Consulate

map of Australia with German missions

Two German Missions and ten Honorary Consuls throughout Australia offer consular services. Each mission covers a specific geographic region. To find out which Mission can assist you, what the hours of operation are and how to reach it please use our interactive Consulate Finder.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

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If you have a question, but cannot find the answer, you might find our collection of frequently asked questions helpful.