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Travel document issuance

The passport as a passport replacement is issued by the border authorities. Border authorities are the Federal Police and other state and federal authorities that are responsible for carrying out police control of cross-border traffic.

As a German citizen, you may be prohibited from leaving Germany if you do not carry a valid passport or passport replacement when crossing the border. Such a situation is possible if, for example, your passport or identity card has expired and you only notice this shortly before you travel. In these acute emergencies, a travel document can be issued to you by the border authorities as a passport replacement before you travel.

With the travel document as a passport replacement, you can leave Germany as a German citizen and then re-enter. The travel document as a passport replacement is only valid for the duration of the respective trip, but for a maximum of three months. It becomes invalid on re-entry, unless it has been issued for several exits and entries. Therefore, it is not a full-fledged replacement for the passport.

You can only enter another country with a travel document as a passport substitute if the state recognizes your document as a travel document. The foreign state has no obligation to recognize your document. There is also the possibility that airlines will refuse to take you with this travel document.

On the website of the Federal Police you will find a list of countries that recognize the travel document as a passport substitute without restriction or in conjunction with a time-expired photo information (for example, passport or identity card). Note, however, that foreign border authorities can change this practice at any time at short notice.
You have no legal claim to the issuance of a travel card as a passport substitute. Whether this emergency document will be issued to you will be decided by the competent border authority.
An exhibition can be denied, for example, if:

  • you want to travel to a country that does not recognize the travel document as a passport substitute, or
  • A temporary staff certificate or passport can be issued to you by the passport authority upon application.

Note: In the following countries, it is not the Federal Police, but a State or Federal Authority that is responsible for the police control of cross-border traffic:

  • in the Free State of Bavaria at the airports of Nuremberg and Memmingen as well as the airfields that are approved as border crossing points, the Bavarian Border Police is responsible,
  • in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in the port, the Hamburg Water Protection Police is responsible,
  • in Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein in various ports and in Baden-Württemberg at Friedrichshafen Airport, the customs administration is responsible.

You can apply for the issuance of a travel document as a passport substitute in person at the border authority, such as at the airport with the Federal Police. You can also send the application online to the border authority in advance to speed up the process. In any case, you must appear in person at the border authority before starting your trip.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

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