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Registration of birth of a child in South Africa with the German birth register

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The competent public register is normally the one where both parents have or one parent has their place of residence in Germany. If both parents live abroad the public register I in Berlin is the competent authority.

In the interest of a child born in South Africa it is advisable to have that child’s birth registered in the German birth register to obtain a German birth certificate. The birth registration can be lodged through your German Mission. The Mission will forward the application to the Registrar's Office in Germany. If you have ever lived in Germany, the Registrar's Office at your current or last place of residence will receive the application. If you have never lived in Germany, the Registrar's Office in Berlin will be responsible for the processing of the registration of birth.

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If you want to lodge the application via the Embassy in Pretoria then we kindly ask you to make an appointment via e-mail

There is no deadline for registering a birth in Germany. However, under certain circumstances it could be necessary to lodge the application within a year of birth in order to secure German citizenship for the child (More Information).

If, at the time of birth, the parents did not have a common surname it is usually necessary to do a name declaration. If a name declaration is necessary or if you wish to apply for a passport at the same time, it is necessary for borth parents to appear in person.

Please complete the application form for the birth registration and bring the following documents in the original and two uncertified copies of each (only certified copies done by a German authority can be accepted in place of originals). All South African certificates must be unabridged or full.

  • proof of identity (passport or ID)
  • proof of citizenship of both parents (e.g. passports, citizenship certificates, naturalisation certificates)
  • birth certificate of the child (unabridged or full)
  • birth certificates of both parents (unabridged or full)
  • unabridged marriage certificate of parents (if relevant)
  • in case of previous marriages: divorce decree or death certificate of former spouse
  • acknowledgement of paternity (if relevant)
  • death certificate of parent (if relevant)
  • name certificate of child or parent (if relevant)
  • Antrag auf Beurkundung der Geburt PDF / 346 KB

Additional documents may be required. The copies you provide will be certified by the Embassy or Consulate. Your originals will be handed back to you immediately.

Documents which are neither in German nor in English must be accompanied by a certified German translation. The Registrar's Office processing your application reserves the right to also request translations of English documents. Please note that several Registrar's Offices will only accept South African certificates with an Apostille. We therefore recommend presenting all certificates with Apostilles now, in order to prevent later delays. Information on Apostilles can be found here

The fee for registering the birth and issuing of birth certificates are dependant on the local regulations of your Registrar's Office. The fees at the Registrar's Office in Berlin usually are as follows: The fee for a birth registration varies between € 60,- and 80,-. The issueing of a birth certificate costs € 10,-. After launching the application, you will receive an invoice for the due amount. The Registrar's Office will only process the application once the money has been received.

At the Embassy or Consulate, a service fee for certifying the copies (€ 10,-) and the signatures (€ 20,- without name declaration / € 25,- Euro with name declaration) is payable on the day of lodging the application. Payments can be made in either cash in Rand according to the current exchange rate, or by credit card (Mastercard or Visa).

Please note that the Registrar's Office in Berlin may take up to three or four years to process your application.

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Affected are those who were born outside of the limits of the Federal Republic of Germany and whose parents were also born abroad after the December 31st of 1999, if their habitual residence is not Germany. Children with these characteristics will not automatically obtain German nationality by birth anymore. Exceptions to this general rule are possible in cases of imminent statelessness.

Note: Report of birth to obtain German citizenship abroad