Issuing passports (for applicants under the age of 18)
There are two kinds of passports for children and adolescents:
1) Biometric Passports: A European passport can be issued from birth onwards, at the latest at the age of 12. We recommend that you apply for a European passport, since the child’s passport is not recognized in all countries outside the EU. Passports for citizens under the age of 24 are valid for 6 years and are printed at the Federal Printing Office in Berlin.
2) Children’s passports: A child’s passport is a simpler (non-biometric) passport and is generally issued within 2 days. A child’s passport replaced the green, folded child’s passport and is valid for 1 year, up to age 12. Children’s passports are not accepted for visa free entry into the US.
Applications for passports can only be submitted in person by the parent/legal guardian at the Embassy or Consulate General responsible for your home state after making an appointment. The child needs to be present at the time of the appointment for the application. We cannot accept your application by mail. Identity cards or passports cannot be renewed anymore. Starting June 26, 2012, entering the name(s) of the child(ren) in the passport of the parent has become invalid and does not entitle the child to cross the border. You can keep the passport/child’s passport while the application is being processed, if you need to travel and the passport is still valid.
Important information for FIRST TIME passport applications: In some cases, a name declaration needs to be made before the passport application. More information can be found here
The following documents are required for the application (original + 1 photo copy):
- completed application form
Child’s Passport Application Form PDF / 613 KB
- two identical biometric recent passport photos (Please do not cut the photos yourself!)
Sample Photos for Passports PDF / 550 KB
- birth certificate of the child 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). Please note that the birth certificate must state the parents' names (“long version”)
- previous passport/child's passport (data page with photo)
- if born abroad: valid residence permit in the US (US Resident Alien Card, US residence visa, US passport, US Certificate of Birth Abroad or US. Citizenship Certificate)
- passports of both parents (data page with photo)
- valid residence permit in the US of the German parents (US Resident Alien Card or US residence visa)
- parents' marriage certificate
- proof of the parents' 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 child was born out of wedlock, proof of acknowledgement of paternity
- Statement of Consent of the absent parent, signature certified by a Notary Public (Exception: Children over 16 years of age who apply for a German ID card only)
Statement of Consent PDF / 5 KB
- if applicable, certificate about the validity of a name declaration (“Bescheinigung über die Namensführung”) Information on Name Declaration
- if applicable, German Naturalization Certificate
- if applicable, US Naturalization Certificate with “Beibehaltungsgenehmigung”
- US driver's license or an utility bill of the parents as proof of residence
- if applicable, deregistration of last place of residence in Germany (“Abmeldebescheinigung”), if it is entered in the last passport
- Passport fee
Even if your child received the last passport 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. We would like to point out that your child's passport application cannot be processed unless the aforementioned documentation is complete.
If you do not bring all of the required forms and supporting documentation for your child's passport application, you may be required to reschedule your appointment and there will be a delay in processing the application.
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
Birth Name Declaration for Children
In some cases a name declaration is required for children, in order to determine or change the birth name of the child before applying for a passport. A name declaration could also be required even though the selected name is already stated on the non-German birth certificate. An appointment may be required for the name declaration. More detailed information can be found on the following website:
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. consider the information about the right appointment procedure at the German mission that is responsible for your home state: Consulate Finder