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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for an emergency travel document


With an emergency travel document (travel document in lieu of a passport or emergency travel ID), you can leave and then return to Germany. In principle, it is only valid for the duration of the trip, but in any case not for more than 3 months (travel document in lieu of a passport) or 1 month (emergency travel ID). It is thus not a full substitute for a passport. A temporary passport may also be issued at short notice, at least on weekdays, by the relevant passport authorities.

Other countries are not obliged to accept an emergency travel document as a fully-operational travel document. Airlines may also refuse to carry passengers with an emergency travel document.

On the website of the Federal Police, there is a List of countries that fully recognise the travel document in lieu of a passport or the emergency travel ID, or recognise these documents in conjunction with photographic ID that has expired (for example, a passport or identity card). Please note, however, that the border authorities in other countries can change this practice at any time and at short notice.

There is no legal entitlement to the issue of a travel document in lieu of a passport or an emergency travel ID.

  • It must be possible to establish the identity and German nationality or EU citizenship or the secure residence status of the person travelling.
  • There are no 
    • security concerns;
    • grounds for a ban on leaving the country; or
    • grounds for refusing to issue a passport;

and non-recognition by the country of destination is not known.

  • For minors, the consent of the legal representatives must be available.
  • Proof of identity and nationality (usually done using the expired passport or ID card)
  • For non-nationals: proof of secure residence status (emergency travel ID)
  • In exceptional cases, you may also prove your identity by producing copies of the expired passport or ID card, or using your birth certificate in conjunction with any other official document containing a photograph (e.g. driving licence).
  • Travel document in lieu of a passport for German nationals during official working hours: EUR 8.00
  • Travel document in lieu of a passport for German nationals outside official working hours: EUR 16.00 
  • Emergency travel ID for non-nationals: EUR 18.00

Typically, around 30 minutes.

Please contact the relevant border authority.

Federal Police 24-hour hotline:
Tel. +49 8006888000

  • Forms: N/A
  • Can I apply online? Yes
  • Do I need to do it in writing? Yes
  • Do I need to attend in person? Yes

You must apply for an emergency travel document in person directly to the border authority (for example, to the Federal Police at the airport).

  • If you wish to receive your emergency travel document more quickly, you can transmit your personal and travel details electronically, in advance, to the relevant border authority. Usually they will then contact you.
  • You can also find more information on how to apply for a travel document in lieu of a passport on the Federal Police 24-hour hotline: +49 8006888000.

Emergency travel ID can also be issued for nationals of EU Member States, including Norway and Switzerland. For this, the fee is EUR 18.00.

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat)

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