Civil Status Reform Act

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Basic data
Title: Law on the reform of civil status law
Short title: Civil Status Reform Act
Abbreviation: PStRG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Administrative law , civil status law
Issued on: February 19, 2007 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 122 )
Entry into force on: February 24, 2007 and January 1, 2009
Last change by: Art. 4 G of July 4, 2008
( BGBl. I p. 1188 )
Effective date of the
last change:
July 12, 2008
(Art. 5 G of July 4, 2008)
GESTA : B024
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Civil Status Reform Act (PStRG) of February 19, 2007 was passed on November 9, 2006 by the German Bundestag ; on December 15, 2006, the Federal Council gave the necessary approval. On February 23, 2007 the law was promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette.

Art. 1 PStRG is the new Personal Status Act (PStG), which came into force on January 1, 2009 in accordance with Art. 5 Para. 2 PStRG. On the day after its promulgation, individual provisions of the new PStG came into force, such as the authorization basis for issuing implementing regulations, the possibility of testing a central state register and a new responsibility for the continuation of the family book (Art. 5 (1) PStRG).

The previously applicable civil status law with the Civil Status Act of 1937 i. d. F. of August 8, 1957, was fundamentally reformed by the Civil Status Reform Act. In particular, electronic options for register management and communication with citizens as well as with authorities and other bodies were introduced.

Reform efforts

Various regulations of the PStG have long been discussed by the registrars. The decisive factor for a concrete reform was the “ census ruling ” of the Federal Constitutional Court . In 1984 a federal / state working group was formed to develop proposals for a fifth law to amend the 1937 Civil Status Act. In addition to some family policy reforms during this time, the reform efforts were blocked by German reunification , which initially had to find its legal expression.

Legislative process

On October 14, 2005 , the Federal Council decided on a statement with 48 proposals on the draft of a law to reform civil status law. The Federal Government's counter-statement was published on June 15, 2006. The reform was discussed on June 29, 2006 in the first reading. On November 9, 2006, the Bundestag approved the draft law amended by the Interior Committee of the Bundestag in the 2nd and 3rd readings. The Federal Council approved the law on December 15th.

The Civil Status Reform Act changes numerous laws and ordinances . With the announcement of the law in the Federal Law Gazette, changes to the family registers (Section 77 (1) of the Civil Status Act ) came into force with effect from February 24, 2007, which are of factual importance for citizens. Most of the regulations, however, have only been effective since January 1, 2009. The transitional regulations that are important for the reform will end on December 31, 2013.

Key points of the reform

  • The introduction of electronic civil status registers instead of the previous civil status books
  • The limitation of the continuation of the civil status registers by the registry office as well as the transfer of the registers to the archives
  • The replacement of the family register with notarizations in the civil status registers
  • The reduction of the authentication data to the extent necessary for the documentation of the civil status
  • The reorganization of the use of civil status books
  • The creation of a legal basis for a will file .

In particular, the conversion of civil status notifications from paper books to electronic registers was expected to make work easier and improve the citizen service. Because of the acquisition or conversion costs for devices and programs (nationwide around 17 million euros annually), significant cost savings can only be expected after the approximately 5-year conversion phase. According to a rough calculation, the introduction of information technology after the end of the conversion phase will lead to additional annual expenses of around EUR 14 million, which are offset by savings of around EUR 18 million, so that on balance an annual savings volume of EUR 4 million results.

Significant savings are also expected at the registry offices through the elimination of the family book. A savings volume totaling around 42 million euros annually is offset by expenses of around 57 million euros annually until the completion of the return of the family books to the registry office. After completion of the repatriation campaign (around the 6th year after the reform came into force), the savings resulting from the elimination of the family register will fully affect the municipal budgets. On the basis of these calculations, the reform at the registry offices has resulted in annual savings of approx. 46 million euros are expected.

Section 77 (1) of the Civil Status Act - family books

The registrar who keeps the marriage entry for the marriage is responsible for updating the family book between February 24, 2007 and January 1, 2009. The family book is to be sent to this registrar at the latest when there is an occasion to continue or apply for the use of the family book. If the marriage is not recorded in a German marriage register, the registrar who kept the family register on February 24, 2007 is responsible.

It is no longer the registrar at the spouses' domicile, but the registrar who makes the marriage entry for the marriage, who is responsible; If there is no such registrar, the family register remains with the registrar responsible on the reference date. For the period between the promulgation and the entry into force of the law, the regulation aims to have a twofold effect. U. multiple - no need to send the family book to the respective domicile registrar of the spouse; on the other hand, the opportunity is given to hand over the family book to the registrar who keeps the marriage book.

In the transitional period until the final conclusion of the reform on December 31, 2013, this procedure means that citizens are no longer aware of the current whereabouts of their family book. Certified copies from the family book are then only available at the registry office of his marriage and - during the existing marriage - no longer at the registry office of his community of residence.

Amendment of federal laws

The following federal laws were changed by the Civil Status Reform Act:

  1. Personal Status Act (PStG)
  2. Nationality Act (StAG)
  3. Law on the change of surnames and first names (NamÄndG)
  4. Minority Name Change Act
  5. Reporting law framework law
  6. Transsexual Act (TSG)
  7. Federal Expellees Act (BVFG)
  8. Consular Act (Germany) (KonsG)
  9. Law on the statistics of the population movement and the updating of the population
  10. Rechtspflegergesetz (RPflG)
  11. Notarization Act (BeurkG)
  12. Prison Act (StVollzG)
  13. Witness Protection Harmonization Act
  14. Law on Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FGG)
  15. Cost regulation (KostO)
  16. Introductory Act to the Civil Code (EGBGB)
  17. Civil Code (BGB)
  18. Family Law Amendment Act
  19. Life Partnership Act (LPartG)
  20. Absence Act
  21. Adoption Effect Act
  22. Criminal Code (StGB)
  23. Sixth and Eighth Book of the Social Code (SGB VI / VIII)

Come into effect

The Civil Status Reform Act came into force on January 1, 2009. Article 1 §§ 73 (authorization to issue statutory ordinances), 74 (statutory ordinances of the state governments) and 77 paragraph 1 (responsible for the continuation of family registers) as well as Article 2 paragraph 13 (law on matters of voluntary jurisdiction) No. 4 Section 82a paras. 6 to 8 entered into force on February 24, 2007 (the day after the law was promulgated).

Of practical importance for the citizen are from the list of the transitional regulations for family registers that came into force on February 24, 2007 (Section 77 (1) Civil Status Act).

See also


  1. Federal Law Gazette 2007 I p. 122 .
  2. BVerfG April 13, 1983, BVerfGE 64, 67.
  3. See Bornhofen, Die Reform des Personenstandsrechts , StAZ 1996, 161, 163.
  4. Decision of the Federal Council of December 15, 2006 (PDF; 16 kB). ( Memento from January 2, 2014 in the Internet Archive )


  • Schäfer, Udo: The amendment of the Personal Status Act, in: Archives, Family Research and History. Approaches and Tasks, ed. by Bettina Joergens and Christian Reinicke (= publications of the Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen 7), Düsseldorf 2006, pp. 122–135. ISBN 3-927502-10-3 .

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