Living in Germany

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It is possible to drive on a valid full New Zealand driver licence for up to six months in Germany. It is recommended to also hold an International driver permit, as this might be a requirement when renting a car.

Residents (for at least 185 days per year) in Germany planning to return to New Zealand after one year may apply for an extension of up to 12 months. Written approval is needed as proof of the extension.

Residents (at least 185 days per year) in Germany staying for more than 6 months/12 months need to convert their New Zealand licence into a German licence.  To apply for the conversion contact the local Fahrerlaubnisbehörde (drivers licence bureau) or Bürgeramt, (Municipality).  A translation of your licence may or may not be required depending on the policy of the state government where the licence is converted.

A New Zealand driver licence classes 1 and 6 (car and motorcycle, respectively) may be converted without sitting further tests into a German driver licence classes B (car) and A (motorcycle).

Conversion guidelines are as follows:

  • Original valid full New Zealand driver licence
  • Personal ID
  • Biometric Photo
  • Pay relevant fees
  • A translation should not be required but may be requested

Getting married or entering a civil union

There are a number of things that New Zealanders have to do before getting married or entering a civil union overseas. The Department of Internal Affairs(external link) in Wellington will be able to provide details.

It is important that you contact the Town Hall in Germany, or authorities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania (as appropriate) to check their marriage or civil union laws and requirements.

Documents required for a marriage or civil union

All of the countries that this Embassy is accredited to require you to have a document stating that you are legally able to marry or enter civil union. The Births, Deaths and Marriages Office(external link) in Wellington issues these documents, known as either a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage or a Certificate of No Impediment to Civil Union.

Application forms for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (BDM 189) or of No Impediment to Civil Union (BDM 389) can be downloaded from the Births, Deaths and Marriages(external link) website. The Embassy also provides application forms.

The local authorities may require your documents to be authenticated in the form of an Apostille. Information and how to apply for an Apostille is found on the Department of Internal Affairs(external link) website.

The authorities in Germany and our countries of accreditation may also require you to present a recent copy of your Birth Certificate. The application form for a recent copy of your birth certificate can also be found on the Births, Deaths and Marriages(external link) website.

Registration and recognition

Your marriage should be registered in the country where it took place. There is no legal obligation for you to also have your overseas marriage registered in New Zealand. The only practical benefit of registering your marriage in New Zealand is that a marriage certificate can be issued to you from New Zealand. However, this certificate does not replace the certificate issued to you abroad. Generally a marriage solemnised abroad in a non-polygamous country in accordance with the laws of that country will be deemed valid in New Zealand. Such marriages are recognised in New Zealand for the purposes of residence, visa or citizenship applications.

Please note that our Honorary Consul in the Czech Republic is not able to witness marriages or civil union ceremonies.


  • Contact the local authorities in the town in Germany where you plan to marry or enter civil union, and check the laws and requirements;
  • If you are getting married or entering civil union in the Czech Republic, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, check the laws in the respective country;
  • Allow for plenty of time when planning your ceremony. Under New Zealand law, 14 days from the date of receiving your application must elapse before a Certificate of No Impediment can be issued. Allow longer if the documents have to be authenticated. In order to obtain the CONI, download the from the Department of Internal Affairs' website(external link).


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