An aristocratic title in your ID: How the process works
Signing your name using your pseudonym is permissible and legally binding, but only as long as there is no doubt about your identity. This is not a problem, though, as in most cases your pseudonym and aristocratic title only complements or frames your civil name. If you sign a contract using your pseudonym then this is sufficient as a legal written form. As far as German law is concerned, the name that appears below the terms of the contract isn’t at all important. What counts is that your contractual partner knows your identity – this is enough to make the contract legally binding.
Including in your passport
Including an aristocratic title in their passport is a dream for many people. You can apply to have your pseudonym included in your ID at the relevant registration office. The authority in question will then decide whether your aristocratic title can appear in your ID in future. For this the registration office will base its decision on whether you need to be known by this name at a national level.
Making your title credible legally
The registration office’s decision will be a discretionary one. Whether your aristocratic title and pseudonym are important enough to be included in your identity card and passport is entirely at the discretion of the authorities. This means that it’s your job to demonstrate the importance of your title to the authorities and make it credible to them. The following pieces of evidence, for example, are suitable for this. The more evidence you can provide, the more likely it is that the authority in question will respond positively to your request.
– Registration of a domain using the aristocratic title
– Membership of associations under the pseudonym
– A brand registration
– Newspaper articles under the pseudonym
– Endorsements from agencies, business partners, friends and acquaintances
– Social media
– A trade registration under the pseudonym