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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for an identity card for German citizens with permanent residence abroad


As a person with German citizenship and permanent residence abroad, you are not subject to the general obligation to register and therefore also not subject to the obligation to obtain an identity card within Germany.

However, it is possible for you to apply for an identity card in person at selected German missions abroad that have been designated as identity card authorities by the Federal Foreign Office or, under certain conditions, at any citizens' registration office in Germany.

Please inquire in advance at the foreign mission in whose district you are staying whether it can issue identity cards, since not all foreign missions are also identity card authorities.

An identity card can be applied for by:

  • Persons with German citizenship regardless of their age

When applying, you must submit:

  • biometric passport photo
  • if you have moved away from Germany (also: non-residents, world travelers):
    • De-registration certificate from the last German place of residence, if a German place of residence is still entered in the most recent identification document;
  • If your address abroad is to be entered in the ID card: additionally proof of your habitual residence abroad, e.g. foreigner's ID card, registration certificate of your host country, rental contract, telephone, electricity or gas bills.

In this respect, please note that the online function of an ID card can only be used if a foreign address is recorded.

  • Your previous identity card or passport or children's passport,
  • in case of loss of the old document: additionally a police report of loss;

in the case of a first-time application or changes that have occurred

  • Birth/parentage certificate, alternatively German marriage/partnership certificate, German family book;
  • If you are or were married/partnered:
  • Marriage/partnership certificate with note on name keeping or excerpt from the family register with note on name keeping if married abroad, if applicable, name certificate according to German law;
  • If applicable, certificate of acquisition of German citizenship (naturalization certificate in case of initial application);
  • if applicable, certificate of acquisition of a foreign nationality;
  • If applicable, doctoral degree certificate (in German or English, with name and date of birth), if the doctoral degree is not evident from a previous passport/identity card and the entry in the new passport/identity card is desired;

for children under 16 years additionally:

  • for birth in Germany after 01.01.2000, if at least one parent did not have German citizenship at that time: birth register extract;
  • for children of married parents: Marriage certificate of the parents;
  • for children of divorced parents and sole custody of one parent: Proof of sole custody by custody decree or divorce decree; if applicable, recognition of a foreign divorce decree for the German legal sphere;
  • for children born to parents who were not married at the time of birth: acknowledgement of paternity and custody agreement in accordance with the law of the child's country of residence;
  • if applicable, certificate of acquisition of German citizenship;

Please bring all documents with you in the original and with a copy. Please note that in individual cases the presentation of further certificates and documents may be necessary.

  • for applicants under 24 years of age: EUR 52.80
  • for applicants over 24 years of age: EUR 67.00

Fees may be waived or reduced for those in need.

  • for processing the application: usually 4 weeks

If your application for an identity card is rejected:

  • File a complaint with the Berlin Administrative Court
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance: yes

The application for the issuance of an identity card in Germany is informal.

Please use the application forms provided by the German mission abroad responsible for you

You must apply for your ID card in person at the mission abroad responsible for you or at a citizens' registration office.
Details on how to apply abroad as well as the application form can be found on the websites of the respective mission abroad.
Overview of German missions abroad.

  • Please compile the necessary documents and make an appointment by telephone, e-mail or online via the appointment booking system at the mission abroad or citizens' registration office responsible for you.
  • When you apply in person, you must pay the fee - please inquire in advance about payment options (cash, giro or credit card).
  • Pick up your identity card at your local diplomatic mission or citizens' registration office, or clarify the procedure for handing over documents when you submit your application.

Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs (BMI)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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