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Travel document as a substitute for a passport 

  • Überblick


    If you realise shortly before a trip that your passport has expired, a travel document as a substitute for a passport may be issued in exceptional circumstances directly at the border-crossing point by the border authorities.

    You can use the travel document as a substitute for a passport to leave and subsequently reenter Germany. It is generally only valid for the length of the trip in question, up to a maximum of one month. It is therefore not a complete substitute for a passport. one weeks days at least, a temporary passport can also be obtained at short notice from the passport office.

    Other countries are not obliged to accept the travel document for entry. Airline companies may also refuse travel with the travel document.

    There is no statutory right to the issue of a travel document as a substitute for a passport.

    - www.bundespolizei.de

    Who do I have to contact?

    Please contact the responsible border authorities

    24-hour hotline of the German Federal Police:

    Phone: 0800 – 6 888 000



    - Proof of identity and German citizenship (generally by means of an expired passport or ID card)

    - In exceptional cases, you can also prove your identity by means of copies of the expired passport or ID card or by means of your birth certificate together with an official photo ID (e.g. driving licence).

    To apply for an ID card, children’s passport and passport, children must come in person (including infants) to the citizens’ office for the initial application and every update. Both parents must sign the application. (Optionally, one parent can sign the application and the other parent can pick up the ID card/passport) In the case of sole custody, the court decision on this must be presented with the application.



    Legal foundations

    - Passport Act

    - Ordinance for the implementation of the Passport Act (Passport Ordinance – PassV)

    - Art. 28 Geneva Refugee Convention


    The Federal Police can provide a list of countries that will accept the travel document as a substitute for a passport within limitation or together with a time-expired photo ID (e.g. passport or ID card). Please note, however, that foreign border authorities may change this practice any time at short notice.

    - Countries which recognise passport-substitution papers issued in Germany

    - Apply for substitution papers

    - Information on substitution papers from the Federal Police

    Processing time

    Period of validity:

    for the length of the trip in question, up to a maximum of one month.

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