Issuing passports (for applicants over the age of 18)
The validity of the German biometric passport is 6 years for applicants under the age of 24, otherwise it is 10 years.
Please note: German biometric passports cannot be extended. Once invalid, you will have to apply for a new passport. Please be aware that you will have to re-submit all relevant documents as listed below for each application.
Applications for passports can only be submitted in person at the Embassy, your responsible Consulate General, or some Honorary Consuls during opening hours after scheduling an appointment. If you would like to apply with a Honorary Consul please check their regulations for fees and payment methods. As of 11/01/2007, the applications cannot be mailed in anymore. During the appointment, your finger prints will be taken. Please bear in mind that due to privacy protection, the German Mission can only save the fingerprints for a brief period of time and will then delete them.
The passports are printed at the Federal Printing Office in Berlin. Please expect a processing time of about 6 to 8 weeks. If a Name Declaration is required (see below information), processing time can change considerably.
The following documents are required in the original for the application:
- completed application form
Application form PDF / 635 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)
- Non-US-Citizens: valid residence permit in the US (US Resident Alien Card, US residence visa) and passport - Information for holders of a greencard without expiration date
- US-Residents: Proof of Acquisition of US-Citizenship (e. g. US birth-certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Certificate of Naturalization with retention permit) and US-passport
- if the last name in your previous passport is not the same as the last name you currently use, a name declaration might have to be done. Please consider the Information on Name Declaration
- Proof of current name usage (i.e. one of the following: German birth certificate, German marriage certificate or if married outside of Germany, certificate of current name usage issued by the registrar’s office in Germany)
- 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 you wish to have your doctoral degree entered in your passport, proof of residency and your old passport or German ID card with entry of your doctoral degree must be presented. If the doctoral degree is to be entered in the passport for the first time, your doctoral degree certificate must be submitted (the certificate should contain at least your first and last name, as well as your date of birth).
- Only for adult first time applicants: If one of your parents has had German citizenship at the time of your birth and if you therefore have obtained German citizenship by birth and not by naturalization, we need the following additional documents:
o Passports of both of your parents (data page with a photo)
o In case one parent is a US citizen without a passport: That parent’s driver’s license or State ID
o Valid US residence title of the German parent (US Resident Alien Card or US visa)
o Parents’ marriage certificate
- Passport fee
- In addition, some German missions in the United States require that a stamped envelope for mailing your documents already be submitted at the time of application. The missions abroad that have this requirement will inform you of this in your appointment booking confirmation.
We would like to point out that your passport 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 at a 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.
To read more about the protection of your data and privacy when applying for a German passport, please click here.
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. Even if your current German passport carries your desired name already, there might still be more documents or name declarations necessary to prove your name. More information regarding Naming Law can be found here: Naming Law
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
Please note that for the time being the Safari browser is incompatible with the appointment booking system.
If you do not know which German mission is responsible for your home state, you can find out here: Consulate Finder