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Immigration For Members

How to apply for or renew your US passport from Germany

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
How to apply for or renew your US passport from Germany
An American flag flies at Pariser Platz in Berlin. Photo: picture-alliance/ dpa | Rainer Jensen

Americans living in Germany are likely to have to apply for a new passport at some point - and thankfully it's not as tricky as it sounds.

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Official matters such as renewing your foreign passport from Germany can seem quite daunting, but our step-by-step guide will show you what to do, whether you're applying for a US passport for the first time, renewing your passport or renewing your child's passport. 

According to the US Embassy in Berlin, standard passport applications generally take around 4-6 weeks to process, so you should plenty of time for any upcoming trips to apply for one. However, if you happen to be travelling within the next fortnight and require an emergency travel document, there are ways to do this. Consult the U.S. Embassy website for more details. 

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Firstly, though, here's how to apply for a first-time passport for a child or new citizen and how to go about renewing an old passport.

How to apply for US passport for the first time

If you have a child who's entitled to a US passport or if you're a US citizen who's never held a US passport before (i.e. a dual citizen), you may be wondering how you can get hold of your first US passport while in Germany.

In situations like these, the first step is to make sure that citizenship has actually been granted. For children of American parents who are born in Germany, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is the first step to getting the right to citizenship recognised. An appointment for CRBA can be booked at the Berlin Embassy or either of the consulates in Munich or Frankfurt using this online form

Adults with US citizenship should book an in-person appointment at the US Embassy in Berlin or the Frankfurt or Munich Consulates to get their first passport. This can be done online through the Embassy's appointment wizard tool. 

You'll need to prepare your passport application ahead of the appointment. This involves providing proof of US citizenship such as a US birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad and naturalisation certificate. Applicants should bring both original proof of citizenship and a photocopied version. Remember to also bring along a government-issued ID such as a driver's licence. 

READ ALSO: ‘So many hurdles’: How Americans in Germany are fighting to renounce US citizenship

You will also need to fill out form DS-11 here https://pptform.state.gov/ noting your US social security number on the form. 

Remember not to sign the form, since you will do this at the embassy or the consulate under oath in front of a Consular Officer.

If you were born in the US, you must also present the passport you used to leave the US and enter Germany.

US Embassy Berlin

The US flag flies outside of the Embassy in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Soeren Stache

You also need to bring a 5x5cm passport picture and a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope (more details on that here), as well as paying the corresponding fee of $165.

For under-16s, the process is similar, except both parents will need to be present at the appointment and show their own government-issued IDs (both original and photocopied). If one parent cannot be present, they will need to fill out a DS-3053 statement of consent and have it notarised. Passport applications for children are also subject to a reduced fee of $135. 

How to renew a US passport for an adult

In most cases, you can apply to renew your US passport by mail from Germany by sending your application and supporting documents to the Frankfurt Consulate at the following address:

U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt 
Attn: Passport Section
Gießener Str. 30
60435 Frankfurt am Main

This applies to you, if:

  • You were at least 16 years old when your most recent passport book was issued;
  • You hold a 10-year passport which was issued within the past 15 years;
  • Your U.S. Passport has not been limited from the normal 10-year validity period due to passport damage/mutilation or multiple passport thefts/losses; and
  • You are not requesting a change in the passport data, other than a name change due to marriage or divorce or court order for which you can submit official documentation (marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order) to support the name change.
  • You are only applying for a new passport book, not a passport card as well.

If this applies to you, simply fill in form DS-82 online and submit it along with your most recent passport (and a photocopy of it), a passport photo, name-change documents (if applicable) and a pre-paid envelope, which must contain a DHL ExpressEasy shipping label. (More information on that can be found here.)

You'll also need to pay a processing fee of $130 via the US government's online payment portal.

In all other cases - including passport renewals for under-16s - you will need to fill in form DS-11 and book an in-person appointment, as if you were applying for a passport for the first time.

READ ALSO: Why are Americans being turned away from German banks?

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Comments (1)

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Olive 2023/07/04 10:40
I appreciate this article but according to US Embassy (Munich and Frankfurt) current waiting times are 10-13 weeks starting on the date they receive your passport. People reading this article should not assume it will be quick and painless. If you search on Google there are so many article talking about how backed up the state department is in processing passports and they now advise you to send them in 6-8 months in advanced.
  • Imogen Goodman 2023/07/05 08:48
    Thank you very much for the feedback! We'll update the article with the latest waiting times so people are aware of this.

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