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How To Get An English-Hungarian Marriage Validated

Recognised (Acknowledged/Certified) By The Hungarian Government

If you are a British citizen wanting to marry your Hungarian partner whereby you both reside in the UK, even though you may have work and/or property in Hungary, I would strongly recommend getting married in the UK; simply because it cuts out a lot of the language barrier and bureaucracy that exists in Hungary. That is what Tünde and I did - Got married in England (UK).

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We actually got married on Thursday 25th January 2018 in East Ham registry office, Newham, London (UK). Although the final process was very straight forward, getting all the necessary paperwork and other requirements together was a little more complex; but not impossible.


Before we could get married Tünde had to change her married name, which she was still using years after her divorce, back to her maiden/birth name of Tünde Deák. Otherwise her married (current) name would not be recognised in the UK. This is because in Hungary the wife takes the full name of her husband.

So with her ex-husband's name being László Szántó, which she was stilling using, she was still known in Hungary and in the UK as Lászlóné Szántó (Mrs Lesley Farmer) and not Tünde Szántó or Tünde Deák. The NE after the husband's first name (i.e. László and NE) denotes she is a married woman or at least still uses the ex-husband's name; for whatever reason(s).

Furthermore: If I was to marry Tünde in the UK as Lászlóné Szántó, which would be the equivalent of marrying someone called Mrs Lesley Farmer, it would not be allowed simply because she would then have to be known as László Cairns (Lesley Cairns) or Lászlóné Cairns (Mrs Lesley Cairns) if she wanted to use my surname of Cairns. Either way, she could not automatically use her maiden/birth name Tünde Deák.

It is for the above reason why Tünde had to change her married (current) name of Lászlóné Szántó back to her maiden/birth name of Tünde Deák before it would be recognised in the UK for marriage purposes. Getting her name changed back to her maiden/birth name was not a simple process.

Change Name Back To - MAIDEN/BIRTH NAME

She first had to visit her home town in Hungary to get her 'Jegyzőkönyv Házassági Névviselési Forma Módosítására' ('change of married name') certificate amended, stating she now wanted to be known by her maiden/birth name. That certificate, which also needed officially translating into English once amended (costing over £200 including airfares and translation fees), is similar to a UK Title Deed, but for marriage purposes only.


This is something those in the UK (i.e. banks and certain government authorities) did not understand, which lead to weeks and months of delay while they got things clarified.

As the idiots did not recognise Tünde's new 'change of married name' certificate as a Title Deed, which is what it is recognised as in Hungary in these circumstances, we had to explain to these UK idiots the above scenario; as they still insisted on only seeing and only recognising a UK styled Title Deed. In many cases we had to ring their head offices just to get things moving or sorted out, which was frustrating at times and caused more unwanted delays.

Fortunately, all of the government departments more or less accepted Tünde's new 'change of married name' certificate straight away, either via e-mail or post. It was only certain banks and certain council departments that messed Tünde about in the beginning, due to lack of experience by their staff members. However, even they recognised Tünde's new 'change of married name' certificate as a Title Deed in the end.


Just as Tünde was getting everything back in the post (i.e. Driving License and Utility Bills) in her new name (maiden/birth name), she would need to change it again in two weeks time due to us getting married. This time would be easier though as all Tünde would need to show the relevant banks, government authorities and so on would be our Marriage Certificate; which was true to a point.

The problem Tünde faced after our wedding was that her new passport was still in her new name (maiden/birth name) of Tünde Deák and not in her new wedding name of Tünde Cairns. Surprising, this was not a problem for any of the banks, government authorities and so on; purely because they saw the UK Marriage Certificate as acceptable evidence of her new married name (Tünde Cairns) and therefore did not require her to hold a new passport in the name of Tünde Cairns.


With her current Hungarian passport in her maiden/birth name of Tünde Deák, she now had to visit the Hungarian Embassy in London (UK) to apply for a new Hungarian wedding certificate; so the Hungarian government would then recognise her English marriage and English married name (surname) whereby she could later apply for a new Hungarian passport in her new English name of Tünde Cairns.


On Thursday 1st March 2018 we went to the Hungarian embassy in London (UK), on a prebooked appointment, which began by us filling out an application form about our names and other personal details before then showing all the necessary documents - Passports, Title Deeds, Divorce Papers and so on.

The whole process took around 25 minutes whereby Tünde had to surrender her Hungarian address card (to be sent to Budapest) and I had to sign the part of the application form that states I give Tünde full permission to use my surname.

With the application form signed, the embassy official told us it could take up to one month to process the application, mainly because checks in Hungary had to be made, whereby a recorded delivery letter would then be sent with a new Hungarian marriage certificate enclosed.

As Tünde could easily visit the embassy she opted to collect her new Hungarian marriage certificate from the embassy instead, hence why the embassy official took down Tünde's email and phone contact details. Fortunately Tünde was e-mailed one week later only, on Thursday 8th March 2018, stating her new Hungarian marriage certificate was ready for collection; which she collected on Monday 12th March 2018. Unfortunately, it took until 20th July 2018 for her to be able to collect her address card from the embassy (4½ months later!).

New Marriage Certicate - NEW PASSPORT

With her new Hungarian marriage certificate and address card in hand, all she had to do then was get a new passport with her new married name of Tünde Cairns on it. She could do this by either booking a 'new passport' appointment with the Hungarian embassy in London (whereby issuing her with a new passport could of taken up to 6 months - appointment 3 months later. Passport process 2-3 months) or by visiting the passport office in Szeged or Budapest (whereby issuing her with a new passport would only take 1-5 days, depending on whether or not she wanted a postal service or a 'while-u-wait' service).

She opted to visit Szeged, travelling on her old passport name; which was quite legal. She visited the Szeged office on Monday 27th August 2018 and was able to pick up her new passport on Thursday 30th August 2018, which was very quick. She took that option because she did not want to surrender her old passport during the process as she needed it for driving purposes.

The Hungarian marriage certificate is very minimal in detail compared to the English marriage certificate - The Hungarian marriage certificate just states my full name, her full maiden/birth name, her full new married name and our dates of birth; endorsed with the official Hungarian registrar's stamp on special paper.

You do not need to pay the 'while-u-wait' 1 or 3 day passport processing service as we were told that the 1 and 3 days were for the processing time of the passport only. Meaning, your passport will be sat on a table until it is ready for normal postal delivery. The 'while-u-wait' service does not include any kind of special 'same-day' express delivery. So if your new passport is ready on a Friday for example, it might not get posted out until Monday. Hence no reason to pay for a one day 'while-u-wait' service for example.

Furthermore. The 1 day service, which can only be processed in Budapest, means you have to collect the passport from Budapest only. And the 3 day service, which can be processed via the Szeged office for example, also has to be collected from Budapest. The 3 day service cost 29,000 HUF.

Buying A Hungarian WEDDING RING

If you need to buy a wedding ring in Szeged (Hungary), I can highly recommend Smaragd Ékszerüzlet (Emerald Jewelry Store) - 6271 Szeged, Kígyó Utca 2. It is open Monday-Friday: 9am - 6pm and Saturday: 9am to 1pm.

When we were travelling to Hungary via Italy, to get Tünde's passport changed, I lost my £180 UK wedding ring while swimming in an Italian lake (it came off my finger due to weight loss). Tünde then recommended I buy a replacement wedding ring in Hungary, which I did. I ended up paying 59,390 HUF (£163.61) for a 14K Gold wedding ring - Cheaper than my original wedding ring, a better quality of gold and better design.