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Apply for a travel document as a passport replacement for emergencies
If you notice shortly before you start your trip that your ID has expired, you can, under certain conditions, apply for replacement documents at short notice as a German citizen.
Your responsible authority
- Forms: no
- Online procedure possible: yes
- Written form required: yes
- Personal appearance necessary: yes
The passport as a passport replacement is issued by the border authorities. Border authorities are the Federal Police and other state and federal authorities that are responsible for carrying out police control of cross-border traffic.
As a German citizen, you may be prohibited from leaving Germany if you do not carry a valid passport or passport replacement when crossing the border. Such a situation is possible if, for example, your passport or identity card has expired and you only notice this shortly before you travel. In these acute emergencies, a travel document can be issued to you by the border authorities as a passport replacement before you travel.
With the travel document as a passport replacement, you can leave Germany as a German citizen and then re-enter. The travel document as a passport replacement is only valid for the duration of the respective trip, but for a maximum of three months. It becomes invalid on re-entry, unless it has been issued for several exits and entries. Therefore, it is not a full-fledged replacement for the passport.
You can only enter another country with a travel document as a passport substitute if the state recognizes your document as a travel document. The foreign state has no obligation to recognize your document. There is also the possibility that airlines will refuse to take you with this travel document.
On the website of the Federal Police you will find a list of countries that recognize the travel document as a passport substitute without restriction or in conjunction with a time-expired photo information (for example, passport or identity card). Note, however, that foreign border authorities can change this practice at any time at short notice.
You have no legal claim to the issuance of a travel card as a passport substitute. Whether this emergency document will be issued to you will be decided by the competent border authority.
An exhibition can be denied, for example, if:
- you want to travel to a country that does not recognize the travel document as a passport substitute, or
- A temporary staff certificate or passport can be issued to you by the passport authority upon application.
Note: In the following countries, it is not the Federal Police, but a State or Federal Authority that is responsible for the police control of cross-border traffic:
- in the Free State of Bavaria at the airports of Nuremberg and Memmingen as well as the airfields that are approved as border crossing points, the Bavarian Border Police is responsible,
- in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in the port, the Hamburg Water Protection Police is responsible,
- in Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein in various ports and in Baden-Württemberg at Friedrichshafen Airport, the customs administration is responsible.
You can apply for the issuance of a travel document as a passport substitute in person at the border authority, such as at the airport with the Federal Police. You can also send the application online to the border authority in advance to speed up the process. In any case, you must appear in person at the border authority before starting your trip.
Applications for a travel document as a passport replacement can be submitted:
- German citizens
- You must prove your identity and German citizenship with an officially recognised document.
- There must be no reasons for non-passing against you.
- There are no security concerns.
- The destination state recognizes the travel document as a passport replacement as a border crossing document.
- In the case of minors, the consent of all legal representatives must always be given.
For children, the travel document can be applied for as a passport substitute by the custodians or an authorized person. An independent application is only possible from the age of 18. If both parents do not travel with the child, both custodial parents must agree to the trip.
In the case of permanently separated parents who are jointly entitled to parental care, the situation is special: only the parent with whom the child habitually resides may apply for the passport. The parents must make the permanent separation life credible. This also applies if a parent with custody is permanently prevented, for example, unknown moved.
In the case of school trips, the consent of the custodians can also be credibly demonstrated by the accompanying teacher.
For a person for whom a supervisor has been officially appointed, the travel document can be applied for as a passport substitute by the officially appointed supervisor. In these cases, it is necessary that the officially appointed supervisor can prove your official appointment in addition to the identity of the person for whom you are applying.
For the application and collection you will need:
- Proof of your identity and nationality by:
- expired passport or temporary passport, or
- expired identity card or temporary personal card
- when applying for a child:
- expired children's passport or
- Birth certificate (only when applying for a child).
- Proof of your identity and nationality by:
- Application for travel document as a passport replacement for Germans: EUR 8.00
You can personally submit an application for a travel document as a passport replacement directly to the border authority, such as at the airport to the Federal Police, or send it online in advance to the border authorities for processing.
- You go to the border authority and have an application form handed to you, which you fill out and sign.
- An identity comparison is carried out on site. To do this, you must prove your identity and nationality or that of the person for whom you are applying for a travel document as a substitute for your passport.
- You must pay the processing fee in cash on site.
- The travel document will then be handed over to you as a passport replacement.
- You can also submit the application online and send it to the border authorities for processing to speed up the process.
- To do this, fill out the application in the federal portal and send it off.
- After the digital application, you can contact the responsible border authority.
- Before starting the trip, you must appear in person at the border authority to:
- sign the application,
- carry out an identity comparison and
- to pay the processing fee.
- After that, the travel document will be handed over to you as a passport replacement.
- for the processing of the application: usually around 30 minutes
Please contact the local border authority.
Point of contact
Please contact the relevant border authority.
24-hour hotline of the Federal Police:
Phone: 0800 6 888 000
- Legal basis
- More informationen
Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)