World's Most Powerful Passports

German passport (deutscher Reisepass)

German Passort gives you German citizenship, you might consider applying for a German passport (deutscher Reisepass). For German nationals, having a passport is necessary for traveling to most countries outside of the European Union. Moreover, if you do not have an identity card, you might actually need a German passport, as the law requires all German citizens to have a valid form of identification.

How to apply for a German passport

To apply for a German passport (Reisepass beantragen) you can make an appointment at the citizens’ office (Bürgeramt) in the municipality in which you are registered. You can also apply at citizens’ offices in other municipalities but you may have to pay a supplementary fee. You must attend the appointment in person; it is not possible for someone else to apply on your behalf.

Documents needed for a passport application

The German Passport one of the world’s most Powerful Passports

You must bring the following with you to your appointment:

  • A recent photo that meets the government’s strict passport photo requirements (in German).
  • Documents that prove your identity and your German nationality (e.g. a current or expired passport or identity card, and your German naturalization certificate, if applicable).

At the appointment they will also take fingerprints from your left and right index fingers, to be stored in a special chip in the passport.

Children’s passport

In 2012, a new EU ruling came into effect, requiring all children to have their own form of identification and making it impossible for them to travel internationally on their parents’ passports. Parents in Germany now have the option of either applying for a regular, biometric passport for their children (as above), or they can also apply for a children’s passport (Kinderpass) through the same process

Kinderpass can be used up until the child’s 12th birthday. It has the advantages that it is cheaper and takes less time to process, but on the downside, as it is not a biometric passport, it is not recognized by every country. See which countries accept the Kinderpass.

How much does a German passport cost?

The cost of applying for a German passport depends on your age, location, and how quickly you need it. If you are a frequent traveller, you can also pay to have extra pages for visa stamps.

German passport applications processing time

Your new passport will be manufactured centrally at the Federal Printing Office in Berlin. From the time of application, it usually takes three to six weeks before you can pick it up from the citizens’ office. You can also authorize someone to collect it for you by providing a signed letter of consent. 

If you need your passport quicker, you can apply for the express option. If you submit your application before midday, your passport will usually be ready to pick up three working days later. A supplement is payable if you choose this option.

Period of validity of a German passport

German passports are valid for 10 years for adults and for six years for youths under the age of 24. The children’s passport is also valid for six years or until the child reaches the age of 12.

How do I renew a German passport?

If your German passport is close to expiring, you must request a new one by following the above procedure. If you need to travel during the processing time and your old passport is still valid, it may be possible to keep it until your new one is ready.

Can I have more than one passport?

Depending on the conditions under which you gained German citizenship, it may be possible for you to have one or more passports in addition to your German one. This is usually the case when you are accepted for dual German citizenship.

Benefits of having a German passport

The German passport enables you to travel to 170 countries without needing a visa. You also gain freedom of movement within the EU. The other advantages are detailed on our page on German citizenship.

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