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Procedure descriptions

Apply for a passport replacement for foreigners (emergency travel document)

All foreigners must have a recognised and valid passport or passport replacement.

Only in exceptional cases may German passport substitutes be issued to non-German nationals, as this interferes with the passport sovereignty of another state.

The emergency travel document is such a passport replacement document. If you do not have a valid travel document, an emergency travel document may only be issued to you,

  • in order to avoid undue hardship
  • or if there is a special public interest.

Only nationals of one of the following states may obtain an emergency travel document:

  • EU and EEA states
  • Switzerland
  • States listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806
  • if you can prove an entitlement to stay in (and return to) Germany, the EU, the other EEA states or Switzerland.

There is no entitlement to the issuance of an emergency travel document. It is always a case-by-case decision that is only made in special exceptional cases. Only the formal framework conditions are listed here.

Note: Nationals of other countries who have a residence title or a residence permit must apply for a"travel document for foreigners" at the foreigners authority before starting their journey. German nationals have their own travel document as a substitute for a passport.

The emergency travel document is not a full-fledged substitute for the passport. You may use it to leave Germany and then re-enter it. Further travel to other countries is not possible. The emergency travel document is valid for the duration of the journey, but for a maximum of one month.

Attention: Other states are not obliged to accept the emergency travel document as a travel document. Airlines may also refuse to accept emergency travel documents.

Tip: On the website of the Federal Police you will find a list of states that recognise passport replacement documents issued in Germany. However, please note that foreign border authorities may change this practice at any time at short notice.

Responsible department

The border authority, for example at the airport.

The foreigners authority in whose district you usually stay. Depending on where you live, the foreigners authority is the city council or the district administration office.



Prerequisites for the issuance of an emergency travel document are:

  • Your identity and nationality can be established
  • You demonstrably do not possess any other passport or passport substitute
  • You are a citizen or national of one of the above-mentioned states
  • There are no
    • Security concerns,
    • Exit prohibition or
    • Reasons for refusal of passport
  • for minors: Consent of the legal representatives
  • Avoidance of undue hardship or special public interest


You must apply for the emergency travel document in person at the competent office.

In order to obtain the emergency travel document more quickly, you can send your personal and travel data electronically to the competent office beforehand. They will then contact you.

Tip: For more information on how to apply for an emergency travel document as a substitute for a passport, you can also call the free 24-hour hotline of the Federal Police on 0800 6 888 000.



Required documents

  • Proof of identity and nationality, usually by expired passport or identity card, in exceptional cases also by
    • Copies of the expired passport or identity card or
    • Your birth certificate in conjunction with an official photo ID (e.g. driving licence)
  • if applicable, proof of entitlement to reside in Germany, the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland (and to return there)
  • on collection: a recent passport photo 


  • EUR 18.00
  • for a certificate of entitlement to return to the Federal territory on the emergency travel document: EUR 1.00



Release note

16.08.2023 Ministry of Justice Baden-Wuerttemberg

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