How to Renew My German Passport in the USA

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German citizens must keep their government-issued passports current for international travel. This legal document serves as a proof of citizenship abroad and grants German nationals entry into foreign countries, as well as legal re-entry into Germany. German citizens residing in the United States can easily renew their passports by simply applying at any German consulate in the country.

Things You'll Need

  • Passport application
  • Birth certificate
  • Current passport
  • Two passport photos
  • Renewal fees
  • Set an appointment to renew your passport at one of the 33 honorary German consulates across the United States (see Resources). Refer to the government section of a phone book or an online source such as Embassies Abroad to locate the one in your jurisdiction. You must apply in person because German passports now include chips containing biometric data, including scanned fingerprints; this data must be collected at the consulate.

  • Complete a passport renewal application at the consulate or download it ahead of time from www.germany.info (the official website for the German Missions in the United States). Completing the application before your visit to the consulate can save you time during the application process.

  • Present a certified copy of your German birth certificate, along with your driver's license and a valid U.S. residency permit to establish your nationality, U.S. address and legal status in America. If applicable, present a marriage certificate, divorce certificate or the death certificate of your spouse.

  • Acquire two passport-sized photos. You can obtain passport photos at many drugstores (especially those with photo-processing services), post office branches and package-shipping stores like FedEx and UPS. Note, however, that size requirements for U.S. passport photos differ slightly from those of German passport photos. The standard size for U.S. passports is two inches by two inches (50.8 millimeters by 50.8 millimeters), whereas German passports require photos that are 36 millimeters by 45 millimeters. Be sure that the vendor taking your photo understands that you do not want the standard U.S. passport photo size.

  • Submit your travel documents and pay the fee (as of late 2009, 50.50 euros for applicants under the age of 24, and 72 euros for those 24 years old and older). Payments are accepted in cash or by money order.

Tips & Warnings

  • It can take up to eight weeks to receive your new passport once you've submitted your application. Don't wait until the last minute to start the process.

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