Applications for ID cards can only be submitted in person at the Embassy or Consulate General responsible for your home state during opening hours after scheduling an appointment online. The ID Cards are printed at the Federal Printing Office in Berlin. Please expect a processing time of a maximum of 4-6 weeks. If a Name Declaration is required (see below information), processing time can change considerably.
The validity of the German ID Card is 6 years for applicants under 24 years of age, otherwise 10 years for older applicants.
From 16 years onwards, the German ID Card can be applied for independently and without the approval of the parents/guardians.
The following documents are required for the application (original + 1 photo copy):
- completed application form
Application form PDF / 694 KB
- two identical biometric recent passport photos (Please do not cut the photos yourself!)
Sample Photos for Passports PDF / 550 KB
- your birth certificate stating the exact place of birth (it is not sufficient if only the county is mentioned on the US birth certificate, a “proof of birth letter” issued by the hospital with the name of the town must then also be provided)
- if married, divorced or widowed: marriage certificate, if applicable divorce decree or death certificate of the spouse
- previous passport (data page with photo) / ID card
- valid residence permit in the US (US Resident Alien Card, US residence visa, US passport, US Certificate of Birth Abroad or US. Citizenship Certificate) Holder of a Green Card without expiration date
- if the last name in your previous passport or ID card is not the same as the last name you currently use, please provide additional proof regarding your name usage. A name declaration might have to be done. Information on Name Declaration
- if applicable, certificate about the validity of a name declaration (“Bescheinigung über die Namensführung”)
- if applicable, German Naturalization Certificate
- if applicable, US Naturalization Certificate with “Beibehaltungsgenehmigung”
- your US driver's license or an utility bill in your name as proof of residence
- if applicable, deregistration of your last place of residence in Germany (“Abmeldebescheinigung”), if it is entered in your last passport
- if applicable, your German Doctoratal Certificate, if you would like to have your doctoral degree entered in your passport
- Identity Card fee
We would like to point out that your ID card application cannot be processed unless the aforementioned documentation is complete. If you do not bring all of the required forms and supporting documentation, you may be required to reschedule your appointment and there will be a delay in processing your application.
Even if you received your last passport or ID card at a different German mission in the US, we ask you to submit the aforementioned documentation once more (except for the deregistration certificate). In particular, please also bring birth certificates, name declarations and marriage certificates. Your application cannot be processed without the required documents!
This information refers to the majority of the cases occurring here. Due to the complexity of the German passport and German ID law and the diversity of possible scenarios, differences may occur in each application, and additional documentation could be required as needed.
A current list of fees can be found here: fees
If your name changed since your last passport application, a Name Declaration may be required, before a passport can be issued. An appointment may be required. More information regarding Naming Law can be found here:
Scheduling an appointment
It is necessary that you schedule an appointment at the appropriate German Mission in the US, in order to apply for a passport or ID Card. If you would like to apply for both a passport and ID card, you need to book two appointments, one for each application. Please consider the information about the right appointment procedure at the German mission that is responsible for your home state: Appointments
If you do not know which German mission is responsible for your home state, go to the following link: Consulate Finder