What is a birth certificate for

What is an international birth certificate actually required for?

This certificate is important not only after the birth of the child, but also in the course of life.

The birth certificate is required in these cases:

  • For marriage in the future
  • You need the birth certificate to apply for child and parental allowance
  • For applying for an identity card or other identification documents
  • The birth certificate is required so that the parents can open an account in the child's name
  • For registration at the residents' registration office
  • Health insurance coverage is applied for using the birth certificate

The certificate is not only needed for life within Germany, but also if you move abroad or study there and want to register with the residents' registration office, for example. The criteria for registering in other countries are always different, so there are no general statements. The problem lies in the fact that the documents issued in Germany are not always valid abroad. In these cases you can request a birth certificate, which is also recognized in foreign countries. If you are wondering where you can get the birth certificate from, you can contact the registration office.

Validity of the birth certificates abroad

An international birth certificate that is valid worldwide does not exist in this sense. The registration office can, however, issue a certificate that is also valid abroad. This includes special states that have signed a certain convention.

These countries now include 25 European countries, such as:

  • Italy
  • France
  • Bulgaria
  • Germany
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Portugal
  • Lithuania
  • Croatia
  • And many more

So if you want to have an international birth certificate, you have to contact the registration office where your first one was issued. For a small contribution you can pick up the "international" birth certificate. The advantage of this international version is that you can use it - even without translation - anywhere in the countries belonging to this agreement. In this context, however, you have to know that this certificate can only be used in the 25 countries without problems - this means that it is not valid in the USA or other countries outside the EU, for example. You can find more about this under Application24.

What do you need an international birth certificate for?

You should apply for the international certificate when you go abroad and want to register on site. Many registration offices in various countries would like to see a birth certificate when registering. That doesn't always have to be the case, but it could happen. In this case, you should take care of these things before you move or before you travel. If you are curious, read more about emigration in this article.

How can I apply for the international birth certificate online?

If you don't want to go to the registration office, you can do the request conveniently from your computer. Normally, the costs are significantly lower if you go to the registration office directly. The online service is particularly useful if you live in another city and do not have the opportunity to appear on site.

If you were born in a bigger city, you can also check out their website. You can often request an international birth certificate online here. This is not the case in every city.


The birth certificate is a very important document for the child's life, but also for the parents. Various requests can be made with this. Even if you move abroad, it can be useful for registering your place of residence or for various applications. The request for the certificate could also be worthwhile when traveling.