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Passport Renewal for US Citizen in Germany: A Guide

Passport Renewal for US Citizen in Germany: A Guide

If you’re a U.S. citizen living in Germany and your passport is up for renewal, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step by step. Renewing your U.S. passport while in Germany can be a straightforward procedure as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

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Passport Renewal in Germany – The Basics

To renew your U.S. passport by mail as an adult citizen, you must meet the following basic requirements:

    1. Use Your Most Recent Passport: You can use your most recent passport as long as it hasn’t been limited to less than the standard 10-year validity due to damage or theft/loss.
    2. Age Requirement: You must have been at least 16 years old when you obtained your last passport.
    3. Validity and Issuance Period: Your previous passport should have been a 10-year one issued within the last 15 years.
    4. Name Change: If you need to change your name because of marriage, divorce, or a court order, you’ll need to provide official documents like a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.

In simple terms, you can renew your passport by mail if you’re an adult, you’ve had your passport for less than 15 years, and it hasn’t been damaged or stolen. If you’ve changed your name, you can do that too, but you can only get a new passport book, not a passport card.

Steps for Passport Renewal in Germany

Now that you understand the basic requirements let’s dive into the step-by-step process of renewing your U.S. passport in Germany:

  1. Step 1: Complete DS-82 Form
    Begin the passport renewal process by filling out the DS-82 form, the U.S. Passport Renewal Application for eligible individuals.
  2. Step 2: Submit Your Current Passport
    Include your most recent passport along with a photocopy of the main information page. Ensure that your current passport book meets the requirements listed above, including its age and condition.
  3. Step 3: Include Name Change Documents (if applicable)
    If your legal name differs from your latest U.S. passport, include the original or a certified copy of the name change document (e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order) along with a photocopy in your application.
  4. Step 4: Provide a Passport Photo
    Include a passport-size photo that meets size and format requirements, and avoid bending it. Eyeglasses are generally not permitted unless a doctor’s note is provided.
  5. Step 5: Make the Required Payment
    Pay the $130 passport application fee via the U.S. government’s secure payment site. After successful payment, you will receive an electronic payment confirmation via email. Print this confirmation and include it in your application package.
  6. Step 6: Pre-paid Return Envelope
    Prepare a non-padded pre-paid return mailing envelope of approximate size DIN C5, suitable for returning both your new and old passports. You must use a DHL ExpressEasy shipping label for this purpose. Other courier services or postage forms will not be accepted.
  7. Step 7: Mail Your Documents
    Send your complete application packet, including all the necessary items, to the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt at the provided address.
U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt 

Attn: Passport Section
Gießener Str. 30
60435 Frankfurt am Main

Please note that this process is for getting a new passport book, not a passport card.

Double-Check Your Package

Before sending your application, ensure that your package contains the following essential items:

    1. A completed and signed DS-82 form.
    2. Your current passport.
    3. A photocopy of your passport’s main information page.
    4. Your passport-sized photo.
    5. The payment confirmation page.
    6. A self-addressed postage-paid return envelope.
    7. Any required name change documentation.
    8. Copies of those name change documents if necessary.

Processing Time

After your passport application is received, it typically takes an average of 7-8 weeks for processing. Be sure not to send your application directly to the National Passport Processing Center in the United States, as it will cause significant delays in processing.

In conclusion, renewing your U.S. passport in Germany is a manageable process if you meet the eligibility criteria and follow the outlined steps diligently. By adhering to these instructions, you can ensure a smooth renewal process and enjoy the benefits of a valid U.S. passport while living abroad.

Read more on How To Abroad:

Scholarship in Germany for US Students

Driving License in Germany: Everything you need to know

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