Passport for applicants under 18 years of age

24.03.2023 - Article

There are two different types of passports for children: a biometric passport and child’s passport. An explanation of the difference can be found here. Please bear in mind that all passports need to be applied for in person (by parents/legal guardian(s) and child), after scheduling an appointment.

Kinderreisepass© Bundesministerium des Innern

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

Required Documents

The following documents are required for the application:

  • completed application form
    Child’s Passport Application Form PDF / 141 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”) (original + 1 photo copy)
  • previous passport/child's passport (data page with photo) (original + 1 photo copy)
  • Non-US-Citizens: residence permit in the US (US Resident Alien Card, US residence visa) and passport (original + 1 photo copy) - information for holders of a greencard without expiration date
  • US-Citizens: Proof of Acquisition of US-Citizenship (e. g. Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or US Certificate of Citizenship, otherwise US Certificate of Naturalization of the German parent, and - if applicable - this parent´s retention permit), and US-passport (original + 1 photo copy)
  • passports of both parents (data page with photo) (original + 1 photo copy)
  • parents' marriage certificate (original + 1 photo copy)
  • 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) (original + 1 photo copy)
  • if child was born out of wedlock, proof of acknowledgement of paternity (original + 1 photo copy)
  • 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) (original + 1 photo copy)
    Statement of Consent PDF / 146 KB
  • if applicable, certificate about the validity of a name declaration (“Bescheinigung über die Namensführung”) Information on Name Declaration (original + 1 photo copy)
  • if applicable, German Naturalization Certificate (original + 1 photo copy)
  • if applicable, US Naturalization Certificate with “Beibehaltungsgenehmigung” (original + 1 photo copy)
  • US driver's license or an utility bill of the parents as proof of residence (original + 1 photo copy)
  • if applicable, deregistration of last place of residence in Germany (“Abmeldebescheinigung”), if it is entered in the last passport (original + 1 photo copy)
  • 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.

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:

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. consider the information about the right appointment procedure at the German mission that is responsible for your home state: Consulate Finder

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