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Last checked: 14/12/2018

Expired or lost passports – Germany

Citizens of the countries that have signed the Schengen Agreementde ( Schengen Statesde ), including Germany, may cross the common internal borders of the EU Member States at any point without having to undergo border controls. However, the obligation for German nationals to carry a valid passport or valid identity card (or a travel document issued in lieu of a passport) every time they leave or enter Germany remains in place.

Within the Schengen area, German citizens may also travel freely with only a valid identity card, i.e. using their ID as a travel document. When travelling outside the Schengen area, a passport is usually necessary, and in some countries the passport must have at least six months of validity remaining.

In the case of an expired passport or ID card, the Federal Police can issue German nationals with a travel document to be used in lieu of a passport. This applies only when there is not enough time for the passport authority to issue a (provisional) travel document.

For EU citizens, the Federal Police can issue an emergency travel document if the individual's passport has expired. The issuing of replacement papers to children and persons below the age of 18 is, in principle, subject to the consent of their legal guardians. The individual's identity and nationality must be demonstrated by means of official documents (e.g. an expired passport or travel document issued in lieu of a passport). For more information, contact the Federal Policede .

Germany has agreed with some Member States of the European Union that German travel documents should, in principle, be recognised as proof of identity up to one year after the end of their validity. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. However, travel guarantees or mandatory recognition of expired documents, e.g. by carriers, fall outside the scope of this European agreement. In order to avoid any difficulties in travelling with expired documents, travellers are advised to ensure that they are in possession of valid documents.

In the event of loss of passports/identity documents abroad, the citizens concerned should obtain a police statement confirming the loss, and submit this to their embassy or general consulate along with their application for a replacement travel document. The German Federal Foreign Office website provides information on the documentation required and consular assistance available in the event of loss of your passportde .

Identity documents that have been reported as lost or stolen should no longer be used as travel documents. Even if the document reported as ‘lost' has since been reported as ‘recovered', this does not automatically result in the immediate deletion of the entry in the Interpol database and the corresponding transfer of this deletion into the national databases of the Member State worldwide. Border police therefore frequently confiscate recovered identity documents because the documents in question are still registered as missing in the system.

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