I have recently moved to Hessen, Germany.

Earlier last week I had an appointment with the meldeamt to register my flat and I realized the officer has added my father's name at the end of my first name. I asked them about this issue and they told me that it is a new law (I even asked their supervisor and he verified it). Now that I am receiving letters from finanzamt I am seeing my father's name in middle of my whole name and I am worried this name will be used for my residence permit and can cause future problems for me. The strange thing is my friend has registered his flat one week after me and they have not used his father's name as in my case!

I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me on how to solve this issue.

EDIT: This new form of name the registration office has used is not the one used in my visa or passport

2 Answers 2


This question is a tricky one, because it is not completely regulated how patronyms should be used in Germany. I'm also a foreigner living in Germany, and accidentally got my patronym saved in the Melderegister through the process of obtaining a birth certificate for my son (Melderegister got my patronym from Standesamt).

I immediately asked the Melderegister employees to remove my patronym from the registry and set it back into accordance with my travel passport (Reisepass). Unfortunately, they rejected my request, because there was a regulation that they need to follow the naming from Standesamt.

Since I'm not a German citizen, I decided that I do not care anymore about the Melderegister, since it has no influence on my non-German passport, which is my main ID in Germany (there my patronym is not written in Latin). My argumentation is that I'm a foreign citizen, I haven't applied for name change in Germany, and only me and my home country, which issued the passport, can decide how my name should be written and used in Latin.

UPDATE: Indeed, there is a document regulating the "Meldewesen" (registration processes) that states that foreigners who do not have any German documents issued from the registry office (Personenstandsurkunde von Standesamt), the form of the name in the passport is determinative ("Bei Ausländern, die keine deutsche Personenstandsurkunde vorlegen können, ist die Eintragung im Pass maßgeblich"). The question is only if they now consider the birth certificate of my son, where also my father's name is written, as such a document, which is probably the case.

Alternatively, one may go to a court in order to try removing the father's name from Melderegister.

Since then, from time to time I also see the my patronym (Vatersname) in some German documents. So far this never was a problem for me.

UPDATE 2: After 8 years, I finally succeeded in removing patronym from Melderegister (using the argumentation above)! Now it is again synchronised with my passport, and not with Standesamt! Please note that according to the information above, it is only possible until you won't get a German Personenstandsurkunde issued for you. For me, I argued, that the birth certificate of my son is his document and not mine! So they cannot threat his certificate as mine to override how my name is written in my passport.

Still, if you do not want to fight for it with them:

When getting a residence permit, you may simply ask Ausländerbehörde to copy your name from your main ID, which is your passport (if it is written in Latin without father's name there) and by no way a Melderigister! I did this several times already.

More info (contradicting my answer) about this topic:

  • (-1) The correct procedure is to apply for a Angleichung von Namen (Alignment of names) at the Standesamt. Asking them to disobey the law willl bring no result. Sep 30, 2020 at 22:40

Accourding to a Federal Court of Justice ruling (BGH, Beschluss vom 26. Mai 1971 – IV ZB 22/70), the official name used it the

  • the birth certificate

is what must be used in German documents.

This was confirmed by the BGH, Beschluss vom 19. 2. 2014 – XII ZB 180/12 ruling which brought about the 2016 changes.

A birth certificate is stored in a Standesamt (Birth/Marriage/Death Registry office).

The Meldebehörde (registry office), which issues official identification documents such as passports and national ID, will use the name used in the birth certificate.

For German citizens, this is straightforward since the Standesamt will have the birth certificate

  • for naturalized citizens, a officialy translated birth certificate must be submitted to the Standesamt

An application can be made by the Standesamt, called

  • Angleichung von Namen (Alignment of names)

based on Art 47 (1)(3) EGBGB, to

  • Discard elements of the name that are not provided for by German law

to which a patronymic is counted as.

If this is not done, it will be entered as part of the First name.

For naturalized citizens, this application should be done before the first national ID or passport is issued.

For non-German residents, where in most cases a birth certificate is not required, the Meldebehörde used to use the (Latin) name used in the passport, but are now required to use the legal name based on the laws of the country of origin.

You could ask them if they can apply Art 47 (1)(3) EGBGB, which is normally done at the Standesamt. But based on the comments in Der Umgang mit Vatersnamen - Rehm Verlag. December 2015, this will probably not be possible.

Zusammenfassung: Angabe des russischen Vatersnamen im Führerschein.

Verwaltungsbehörden, die zur Ausstellung von Reisepaß, Personalausweis, Führerschein u.s.w. berufen sind, müssen immer nur den Namen als erwiesen ansehen, wie er in der Geburtsurkunde als Name der betreffenden Person aufgeführt ist (BGH, Beschluss vom 26. Mai 1971 – IV ZB 22/70 –, Rn. 20). Soweit in Ihrer Geburtsurkunde der Vatersname angegeben ist, muss dieser deshalb auch im Führerschein angegeben werden.

Summary: Indication of the Russian patronymic in the driver's license.
Administrative authorities responsible for issuing passports, ID cards, driving licenses, etc. only have to consider the name as proven, as it is listed in the birth certificate as the name of the person concerned (BGH, decision of May 26, 1971 - IV ZB 22/70 -, Margin no. 20). If the patronymic is given in your birth certificate, it must therefore also be given in the driver's license.

Vorbemerkungen zu § 4
§ 4 Absatz 1
4.1.1 Namenseintrag (Familienname, Geburtsname)
4.1.2 Vorname (auch Vatersname, Mittelname und Eigenname)

4.1.2 First name (also patronymic, middle name and proper name)


Einführungsgesetz zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuche (EGBGB)
Art 47
Vor- und Familiennamen
(1) Hat eine Person nach einem anwendbaren ausländischen Recht einen Namen erworben und richtet sich ihr Name fortan nach deutschem Recht, so kann sie durch Erklärung gegenüber dem Standesamt

  1. aus dem Namen Vor- und Familiennamen bestimmen,
  2. bei Fehlen von Vor- oder Familiennamen einen solchen Namen wählen,
  3. Bestandteile des Namens ablegen, die das deutsche Recht nicht vorsieht,


First name and family name
(1) If a person has acquired a name under an applicable foreign law and his name is from now on based on German law, he / she can submit a declaration to the registry office

  1. determine first and last names from the name,
  2. if there is no first or family name, choose such a name,
  3. Discard elements of the name that are not provided for by German law,



  • 1
    You cited the meaning of the lawyer citing the federal court decision from 1971, which I have provided in my answer. IMHO, that decision does not contain that statement that the "official name from the birth certificate should be used in German documents". Please note that neither me, nor OP (as I suggest) have birth certificate issued in Germany. Yes, in my case, Standesamt obtained a translated copy of my birth certificate and copied the patronym from there. However, in my eyes this still has nothing to do with my name in Latin, which is defined by my homeland ID and not by Standesamt. Oct 1, 2020 at 6:45
  • @AndreySapegin The matter here is about entries in german documents. If you want the patronymic removed, then a declaration according to Art. 47 EGBGB is needed. The 1970 ruling is referenced in the Bundesgerichtshof ruling BGH, Beschluss vom 19. 2. 2014 – XII ZB 180/12. Unless the person chooses otherwise, through Art. 47 EGBGB, the original name defined in russian and bulgarian law (not passport entry) is to be used. Oct 1, 2020 at 7:53
  • 1
    The new court decision you cited is about persons who are obtaining German citizenship. For me, for example, this is not the case (I have updated my answer with more details now) Oct 1, 2020 at 7:56
  • @AndreySapegin Yes, but it quotes Article 2, Personal freedoms, GG has the right to choose (an automatic change cannot be made). Until they make a choice, the original name will be retained. Your suggestion to go to court to force the Meldebehörde to change this will probably fail with the reason: if the person wants it changed, then they can make a declaration according to Art. 47 EGBGB to do so. Oct 1, 2020 at 8:13
  • 1
    it might be that you misunderstand the situation. I have a passport, which defines my name without patronym in Latein. I do not have a German citizenship, am not applying for it and do not want to change my name, niether in Germany nor in my homeland. However, strangely, Meldebehörde decided to use the translated version of patronym in their records for me, which was never the case years before (until my son got a birth certificate). Oct 1, 2020 at 8:18

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