Registering to get married
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These rules apply to all marriage ceremonies in Austria.
If you have decided to get married, you must register with a registry office for a procedure to certify marriageability. As part of this procedure, a written record is prepared by the authority.
With its decision of 4 December 2017, the Constitutional Court (VfGH) repealed the provisions which distinguished between opposite-sex and same-sex couples. This means that same-sex couples may also get marriedGerman text in Austria. This has in principle been possible since 1 January 2019. Same-sex couples may get married in Austria even if one of the future spouses comes from a country that does not recognise same-sex marriage. However, the marriage will not automatically be recognised in the country of origin.
When registering for a civil marriage, the couple can declare to the registrar their intended name after marriageGerman text. It is therefore advisable to decide on the intended name after marriageGerman text before registering to get married. The declaration can be made on the day of the marriage ceremony or during the marriage.
In order to get married, you must be marriageable. You must also not be subject to a prohibition of marriage.
A person is marriageable if they are of legal age and capable of making decisions. Men and women are of legal age once they reach their 18th birthday. A person is capable of making decisions if they can understand the meaning and consequences of their actions in context, determine their intentions and act accordingly.
Between the ages of 16 and 18, a legally binding declaration of marriageability is required. The court must declare a person to be marriageable on request if
- the future spouse is already of legal age; and
- the person appears to be mature enough for this marriage.
In the case of minors, the legal guardian must give their consent for the marriage to take place.
The prohibitions of marriage are listed below:
- Blood relationship
Marriage is not possible between blood relatives in a direct line (e.g. father and daughter) or between siblings or half-siblings. This applies even if the parents of the child are/were not married to one another.
- Adoptive relationship
Marriage is also not possible between an adoptive mother/father and an adopted child, as long as the adoptive relationship has not been terminated.
A person cannot marry if he or she is already married or in a registered partnership. In this case, it is irrelevant whether the spouses (or registered partners) actually live together. The crucial factor is that the marriage (or registered partnership) has not yet been dissolved (e.g. through divorce, annulment or death) or declared invalid.
Registration to get married should be carried out six months before the desired date of the marriage ceremony, since the certification of marriageability is only valid for a maximum of six months. There is no longer a minimum amount of time for the procedure before the marriage ceremony, but the average waiting time in larger cities is two to six weeks.
Banns of marriage are no longer announced (posted on the noticeboard of the town hall) in Austria.
Any authority responsible for civil status in Austria:
- the registry office or registry office associationGerman text of the municipality
- in chartered urban districtsGerman text: the registry officeGerman text of the municipal executive
- in Vienna: the registry offices in Vienna (→ City of Vienna)German text (MA 63)
Some registry offices offer you the opportunity to reserve a date for your wedding ceremony online. These include:
→ LinzGerman text
→ MödlingGerman text
→ SalzburgGerman text
→ WienGerman text
The marriage ceremony itself can also be performed in a different registry office.
Prior to the marriage ceremony, the registry office determines the marriageability of the future spouses during an oral interview with the help of the presented documents. During this oral interview usually both partners have to appear in person.
A certification of marriageability (‘banns of marriage’) is then prepared.
You do not need to present all of the required documents and evidence at the first appointment. It can often take a while to acquire the corresponding documents. During your face-to-face interview with the registrar, ask which documents are required in your specific case.
In exceptional circumstances, it may be sufficient if one of the future spouses attends the interview alone. In that case, you must pick up the ‘Declaration for determining marriageability’ form, which is available from every registry office, before registering with the registry office. The future spouse who is unable to attend the interview must state in this form why they cannot attend. The form must then be handed over by the other future spouse when registering to get married.
Austrian citizens who are single and fully competent need:
- official photo IDGerman text (valid passport or valid identity card)
- if their birth is not certified or registered in Austria: a document corresponding to a copy of the register of births
- the birth certificateGerman text, if born in Austria, for the purpose of possible subsequent entry in the Central Register of Civil Status (ZPR)
- proof of citizenshipGerman text or entry in the Central Citizenship Register
- if the main residence is abroad: proof of main residence
- if necessary, documentary evidence of academic degreesGerman text and further documents or evidence on request
If you have already been married or in a registered partnership, you will additionally require:
- marriage certificate(s)German text of the previous marriage of partnership certificate of the previous registered partnership
- divorce certificate or proof of the annulment or declaration of invalidity of the previous marriage (decision or judgment with valid confirmation of legal force – stamp confirming legal forceGerman text), judgment on the dissolution of the previous registered partnership
- if necessary, the death certificateGerman text of the spouse
- if necessary, the death certificate of the registered partner
- in the event of a foreign decision on dissolution of declaration of invalidity: the court decision on recognition provided with confirmation of legal force, provided that the Brussels IIa Regulation is not applicable
If you have a child or several joint children, you will additionally require
- birth certificate(s)German text of the joint child or children
- acknowledgement of paternityGerman text of the joint children (if the father is not yet entered on the birth certificate(s)German text
- proof of citizenship, if available
- proof of residence of the children
If you have limited legal capacity or are not marriageable, you will additionally require
- from the ages of 16 to 18:
- declaration of marriageability from the court (with a valid confirmation of legal force – stamp confirming legal forceGerman text)
- consent of the persons with parental responsibility or corresponding court order
If you are not present when registering for the banns of marriage, you will additionally require the ‘Declaration for determining marriageability’ form, which is available from every registry office.
You can find out which specific documents are required to register to get married in the case of foreign nationality from the competent registry office.
Due to agreements with Germany, Italy and Switzerland, Austrian registry offices can also obtain the marriageability certificate directly from the registry office responsible for the person intending to marry in their country of origin.
The original copy of foreign-language documents must be submitted together with a translation.
An Apostille may be required for recognition of the documents, for example.
In case of doubt, the original copy of a foreign-language document must be submitted together with a certified translation. Translators from other EU/EEA Member States may also be registered on the list of sworn and legally certified translators in Austria.
Costs and fees
- for the procedure to determine marriageability: 50 Euro
- submission of foreign documents: 130 Euro
- additional costs: federal administrative levy and possible commission fees.
- marriage ceremony conducted by the registrar on the official premises during office hours: 5.45 Euro
- marriage ceremony conducted by the registrar on the official premises outside office hours: 10.90 Euro
- marriage ceremony conducted by the registrar outside of official premises in the case of one of the future spouses having a life-threatening disease: 5.45 Euro
- marriage ceremony conducted by the registrar outside of official premises in all other cases: 54.50 Euro
Costs may also be incurred for the use of additional services, such as music.
If you require a further marriage certificate at a later date (e.g. duplicate in the event of loss or theft, multilingual marriage certificate), you can submit an application to be issued a marriage certificate/international marriage certificateGerman text.
The following people are entitled to be issued with a marriage certificate, provided that this is not precluded by any overriding interests worthy of protection in respect of the persons to whom the registration relates:
- persons to whom the registration relates and other persons whose civil status is affected by the registration
- persons who establish a legal interest in doing so
- Court search (→ BMJ)German text
- Certification (→ BMEIA)German text
- List of expert witnesses and court interpreters (→ BMJ)German text
- Recognition of official documents in the EU (→ Your Europe)
- Sections 1 to 8 of the Ehegesetz (EheG)
- Personenstandsgesetz 2013 (PStG 2013)
- Personenstandsgesetz-Durchführungsverordnung 2013 (PStG-DV 2013)
- Section 17 paragraph 1a of the Bundesgesetz über das internationale Privatrecht (IPR-Gesetz)
- Federal Ministry of the Interior
- Federal Ministry of Justice