Registry office

Help, special characters! – Special characters at the registry office

A service of special characters help

Germany agreed to the Convention Nr. 14 of the International Commission on Civil Status ICCS (Convention of 13 September 1973 on the indication of surnames and forenames in civil status registers”) by setting a law on 30 August, 1976, (BGBl. 1976 II S. 1473). The Convention entered into force for Germany on 18 February, 1977. It states:

Article 2

  • When a record is to be made in a civil status register by an authority of a Contracting States and there is produced for that purpose a copy of or the extract from a civil status record or some other document that shows the surnames and forenames in the same characters as those used in the language in which the record is to be made, those surnames and forenames shall be reproduced literally without alteration or translation.
  • Any diacritic marks forming part of such surnames and forenames shall also be reproduced, even if such marks do not exist in the language in which the record is to be made.

The other Contracting States are Belgium, Greece, Italien, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, and Turkey.

 

The ICCS Convention No. 14 was reflected in § 49 paragraph 1 and § 113 para 1 of the General Administrative Regulation on the Civil Status Law (Standing Instructions for Registrars and their Supervisory Authorities):

§ 49 para 1 (Language and writing)

  • The civil status registers must be kept in German language with Kurrent or Latin fonts. [...] Diacritics (accents, hooks, etc.) contained in names or other words of foreign origin are to be reproduced without changes.

Para (2)

  • [...] If the Latin spelling of the name is resulting from a civil status certificate or another public document of the home country of the person concerned (for example, passport), so this notation shall prevail.

§ 113 para 1 (Existing agreements)

  • The following agreements are of particular importance for the activities of the registrar:
  • 30. The Convention of 13 September 1973 on the indication of surnames and forenames in civil status registers […]

 

The General Administrative Regulation has been renewed, since now electronic registering is mandatory:

General Administrative Regulation on the
Civil Status Act (2010)

A 1.1.2

  • After the Convention of 13 September 1973 on the indication of surnamesand forenames in civil status registers […], States Parties undertake to enter the names of individuals uniform without regard to their nationality. […]

Regulation on the implementation of the Civil Status Act (Civil Status Ordinance)

§ 15 Civil registries

(3) The certification data shall be collected in the Latin alphabet; diacritics are reproduced without changes. The character set ISO/IEC 10646:2003 in the UTF-8 encoding is to use.