Getting Married in Tanzania
Marriages contracted in Tanzania according to Tanzanian law are generally recognised in Germany if they fulfil all legal requirements of the respective home country of the fiancées (e.g. minimum age requirements, for German nationals - no bigamy) and the legal provisions applicable to the place of marriage have been complied with.
The Tanzanian marriage requirements are regulated for mainland Tanzania in the Law of Marriage Act (Cap 29 RE 2019) and for Zanzibar-Tanzania regarding civil and ecclesiastical marriage in the Marriage (Solemnisation and Registration) Decree (No 11 of 1915 Cap 92 RL 1961, amended Act Nor 6 of 1966); regarding Islamic marriages in the Marriage and Divorce (Muslim) Registration Decree 1936 (No 8 of 1935, Cap 91).
In Tanzania you can marry partly under civil law and partly according to different religious traditions. Please note that different religious affiliations of the engaged couple may in certain cases result in a religious marriage ceremony remaining ineffective (e.g. in Zanzibar-Tanzania a non-Muslim husband is not allowed to marry a Muslim woman on the basis of Islamic law). A civil marriage (at the registry office), on the other hand, generally leads to a valid marriage if the personal marriage requirements are met by both fiancés. The registration of a previously performed invalid religious marriage at the registry office does not lead to the subsequent validity of the marriage!
Please contact the relevant Tanzanian authorities regarding the documents and procedures required for your wedding. The Embassy cannot give you any information in this regard and such enquries will not be responded.
However, according to our infromation Tanzania officials usually request the following documents:
- Tanzanian citizens: ID/passport
- non-Tanzanians: passport
- both witnesses: ID or passport
German citizens: “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” (letter of non-impediment), issued by the registrar's office of their (last) place of residence in Germany.
The German Missions cannot confirm your marital status or issue any other kind of confirmation of single status. The only document intended by German law to prove your marital status in order to get married abroad is a letter of non-impediment issued by the registrar's office.
if divorced: divorce order
if widowed: death certificate of late spouse
Detailed and binding information on marriage in Tanzania can be obtained from the competent authority: Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) https://www.rita.go.tz. Information from the Tanzanian Embassy in Berlin can be found at https://www.de.tzembassy.go.tz/.
“Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” - Letter of Non-Impediment
If you are a German citizen planning on getting married in Tanzania, you require a letter of non-impediment from the registry office at your (last) place of residence in Germany. Certified copies or signatures to accompany your application can be obtained at the German Mission. The consent to register for marriage must also be submitted by your Tanzanian fiancé, if applicable: a signature certification on the form sent by the registry office is possible.
You should contact your local registry office to ask for the list of requirements and in order to apply for a letter of non-impediment.
- birth certificates of both fiancés
- proof of citizenships of both fiancés (passport); if one fiancé does not possess his citizenship since birth: certificate proving naturalisation
- if previously married: marriage certificates of all earlier marriages and proof of dissolution (i.e. death certificates or divorce decrees with German recognition letter if applicable, see here
- proof of current place of residence in Germany (“Meldebescheinigung”) or proof of deregistration from the last German place of residence, see here
- proof of marital status of the non-German fiancé
- application form
Please note that all documents not issued by a German authority usually require a Legalization and a translation into the German language.
The fees for the letter of non-impediment differ from one federal state to another and are between 45,- and 100,- Euro.
Note: The German Missions cannot confirm your marital status or issue any other kind of confirmation of status. The only document intended by German law to prove your marital status in order to get married abroad is a letter of non-impediment issued by the registry office.
The German Embassy will no longer respond to requests for a letter confirming marital status, nor for a verification of a “Meldebescheinigung” nor any authentication of a letter of non-impediment.
Registering your Marriage in Germany
You got married in Tanzania? In general, marriages entered into in Tanzania will also be valid in Germany as long as the marriage requirements were met. Registering the marriage with the German registrar's office is voluntary. However, if you are planning on living in Germany, it is advisable to have a German marriage certificate.
Applying for marriage registration:
- Please contact us by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and forward the documents listed below as well as the the digitally completed pdf application form (not signed!) in advance as a scan. This allows us to check whether all documents are complete and saves unnecessary travel. If all documents are complete, you will be sent an appointment proposal for your personal Interview.
If a name declaration is necessary or intended, then both spouses must appear in person.
Bring all documents and certificates listed below in the original. The copies will be certified at the German Embassy and the originals returned to you at once.
All Tanzanian documents must be legalized.
All documents that are not in German or English must be furnished with a German translation. Note that the registry office might also ask for German translations of English documents
Information concerning data protection with regard to the processing of your application can be found here.
Please contact us by e-mail (email@example.com) and forward the documents listed below as well as the the digitally completed pdf application form (not signed!) in advance as a scan. This allows us to check whether all documents are complete and saves unnecessary travel. If all documents are complete, you will be sent an appointment proposal for your personal Interview.
- application form, fully completed
- proof of identity of both spouses (passport/ID)
- proof of citizenship of both spouses (passports, citizenship certificates, naturalisation certificates, etc.)
- legalized Tanzanian marriage certificate
- birth certificates of both spouses (Tanzanian: legalized)
- If either spouse was born in Germany, we recommend submitting an “excerpt of the birth register with endorsements” instead of a simple birth certificate.
- if applicable: certificate of proof of name
- in case of previous marriages: divorce order or death certificates of the late spouse
- in case of divorce: recognition of the foreign divorce by the competent German authority
- fee for the verification of signature and certified copies
Note: Not all possible cases and scenarios can be represented here. Addtitional documentation might be requested depending on your specific case.
The Embassy will forward your application to the registry office in Germany. If either spouse has ever resided in Germany, the office at the current/last place of residence is responsible for the application. If neither spouse has ever lived in Germany, the application will be forwarded to the Registry Office I in Berlin. Their current processing time is three years.
The registry office's fee for registering a marriage differs from one German state to another but usually amounts to between 80,- and 125,- Euro
Matrimonial Property Regime
Attention: Consider under which matrimonial property regime you live in your marriage, and if necessary formally choose a system of law. This information is only provided in German Güterstand in der Ehe