Applying for an emergency travel document Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

In the event of an emergency, you can be issued with an emergency travel document by the border authorities (Federal Police) before you travel, provided that you are a national of Germany or another EU Member State or have a secure residence status.

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.

  • 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).
  • 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


  • 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.


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.

Related Links

  • Passport Act (PassG)
  • Passport Regulation (PassV)
  • Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • Residence Regulation (AufenthV)

Related Links

  • List of countries that recognise the travel document in lieu of a passport or the emergency travel ID

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.

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

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