Ehefähigkeitszeugnis - what should I bring to the consulate?

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Did a search, but the only threads I were able to find on this were nearly ten years old and/or for different countries.

 

I've got an appointment with the US Consulate in Frankfurt on Friday to get an Ehefähigkeitszeugnis, since I'm marrying a German citizen. I called the consulate and they told me to make an online appointment for "other notarial services" (which I did), but they didn't mention what paperwork (if any) I needed to bring, and in the moment I didn't ask. The info isn't on the website of the US mission to Germany either... does anyone have experience with this? Is there any specific paperwork I will need to bring with me, or just my US passport? I've already got a current, notarized copy of my birth certificate from the State of Ohio + the Apostille from the Ohio Secretary of State, so the Ehefähigkeitszeugnis is the only thing I'm missing.

 

As a side question: an American coworker informed me that you apparently aren't allowed to bring anything with you to the consulate besides paperwork -- not even a mobile phone. Can anyone confirm this too?

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Had my appointment on Friday, figured I'd post the answer in this thread so it gives some more complete information for anyone who may use the search function to find this later:

 

Although the website of the US mission lists "Ehefähigkeitszeugnis" as the document you require, I double-checked my Beratungsbrief from the Standesamt (where they listed exactly what documents both I and my German partner would need), and instead they asked for an "eidesstaatliche Versicherung" (since the USA, and most countries, apparently don't give out Ehefähigkeitszeugnisse). I shrugged and just took everything with me to the consulate that might possibly be relevant - birth certificate, apostille, passport, etc.

 

Turns out, you don't need anything else besides your passport. They sit you down, hand you a blank eidestaatliche Versicherung where you have to fill out your information (full name, German address, last address in the USA, mother's name/father's name, and a few yes/no questions), you sign it, pay 50 dollars, then you swear before an associate consular that all of the information you provided is correct. They stamp it, sign it, and that's it. Quick and painless. The staff at the US General Consulate in Frankfurt were also all VERY friendly and it was overall a great experience, at least as far as bureaucracy goes.

 

The highlight of my trip though was definitely the spoiled-ass rich banker who was ahead of me in line through security. He thought they'd let him through with his mobile phone or something (because he's a very important person, you see!) and they told him no, he'd have to leave and put it in his car, then return and go through the line again. He huffed and puffed and bragged about how his company owned the contract to the consulate's security firm, or some bullshit like that. I love seeing rich people getting flustered when confronted with reality.

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On 9/5/2017, 8:56:13, SA_Drone said:

...As a side question: an American coworker informed me that you apparently aren't allowed to bring anything with you to the consulate besides paperwork -- not even a mobile phone. Can anyone confirm this too?

 

Saw your appointment was last week, but yup. That is true. Even my key fob fob, I had to lock in a special locker. 

 

You're right about the terminology regarding getting an Ehefähigkeitsbescheinigung. You just swear an oath you were not married prevriously, etc. etc. But the courts in Karlsruhe now have to give their official ok. Good luck! 

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I don't know how you'd call $50 for this piece of paper painless :) It's insane. I got one in Amsterdam for the Dutch thinking I'd need it, but I never did. $50 down the drain.

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34 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

I don't know how you'd call $50 for this piece of paper painless :) It's insane. I got one in Amsterdam for the Dutch thinking I'd need it, but I never did. $50 down the drain.

 

We actually were going to get married in the US because I wanted to avoid the hassle (and naming issues - I had to get permission to be allowed to have a double last name WITHOUT a hyphen). But I fell pregnant and would have traveled at week 33, which I found too risky, so we "had" to get married in Germany. It sucked having to take a day of vacation to go up to Frankfurt just to get this paperwork. I agree.

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3 hours ago, Elfenstar said:

I had to lock in a special locker. 

My daughter will have to go there soon. Hence my question: are there lockers available at the consulate or you can rent some nearby?

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Maybe there weren't lockers I could rent, but they took my keys from me, stored them somewhere and gave me a ticket to reclaim it when I came out.

 

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21 hours ago, Elfenstar said:

Maybe there weren't lockers I could rent, but they took my keys from me, stored them somewhere and gave me a ticket to reclaim it when I came out.

 

Could you leave your cellphone with them as well?

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18 hours ago, jeba said:

Could you leave your cellphone with them as well?

 

I didn't bring it with me, but the day before the appointment they will email you a document that lists what you can't bring with you (including such hi-tech devices as Walkmans, Palm Pilots, and Gameboys). On this list they also say that they don't offer any lockers to store your stuff, but that "local businesses may watch your things for a small fee". Apparently the florist around the corner makes good money on Americans who can't be bothered to read the instructions.

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18 hours ago, jeba said:

Could you leave your cellphone with them as well?

No, I left it in the car. I did have my purse with me, but  that pretty much only had my wallet, passport, documents and car keys in ít. 

 

7 minutes ago, SA_Drone said:

...On this list they also say that they don't offer any lockers to store your stuff, but that "local businesses may watch your things for a small fee". Apparently the florist around the corner makes good money on Americans who can't be bothered to read the instructions.

 

Before I had a car, before I was engaged, I once went up there by train, which from Mannheim isn't too, too far, but far enough that I wanted to use the time to read. I think I had a paperback with me. I hadn't yet had a smart phone, so it probably wasn't a big deal to have left  my phone at home back then. Now? I don't know how I would do it. I use my phone to buy DB train tickets, I use maps to navigate public transport!

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They will take some things (they took my makeup bag which contained a compact and lipstick) and keep them for you but not cell phones. I had somebody with me who waited outside with my phone- it was a nice day and the entire procedure took about an hour so it wasn't a problem. As someone said, apparently there is a florist or kiosk where they will hold the cell phone for you for a fee, but best to leave it at home or in the car. I didn't get any email from them explaining this, so it was lucky I had a friend with me. When I called to ask what docs I needed they said to bring a passport and the divorce docs. Turns out they didn't need to see the divorce docs but make sure you have all the pertinent information (date and place of previous marriage and divorce).

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Thanks. What about parking? Are you allowed to use the consulate´s parking? Is parking allowed in the area?

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

Thanks. What about parking? Are you allowed to use the consulate´s parking? Is parking allowed in the area?

 

There's a very small parking area just next to the consulate, but I didn't see anything beyond that (I went with the U-Bahn)

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The Consulate strongly advises that you use public transportation as parking is very limited in the area. It's only a few stops from the Hauptbahnhof so you could probably park there and take the U-Bahn. 

 

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19 hours ago, jeba said:

Thanks. What about parking? Are you allowed to use the consulate´s parking? Is parking allowed in the area?

 

There's loads and loads of parking along Gießener Str. 30. That's where I parked.  (as long as everyone knows, we're still talking about the Frankfurt consulate)

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