You can fly internationally without an ID

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Identification requirement and validity of identification

The Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs provides information about the requirement of identification and the validity of passports. Further information relates to German nationals living abroad and the online ID of the identity card. The information was updated on June 23, 2020.

As part of the containment of the pandemic and due to the protection against infection, many citizens' offices have reduced the general office hours and asked to deal with official matters online if possible or to postpone them. Since the containment measures do not have a fixed end date and are adapted to the respective current infection situation, restrictions on the activities of the authorities are to be expected.

You can get information about opening times and your options for making appointments from the online information service or the telephone service of your citizens' office. In particular, please use the online appointment facility of your citizens' office.

With a view to the loosening of the travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office for all unnecessary tourist trips since June 15, 2020, the following information is given:

Internationally, it is not recommended to extend the validity of passports and ID cards beyond the expiry date printed on them. A major reason is that an extension is neither recognized in automated or technically supported control processes, nor is it required to recognize the document outside of official control (e.g. when checking in at a hotel or at a transport company). The use of expired documents can therefore lead to considerable travel delays or rejections.

Details can be found on the Federal Police's regularly updated website.

In order to avoid any difficulties during the trip, it is therefore recommended that you only travel with valid documents. You should obtain information on whether and to what extent the state of your travel destination has relaxed entry restrictions before you start your journey. You can find up-to-date information on the entry requirements of the destination country online in the travel and safety information of the Federal Foreign Office.

Until there is regular service again in the citizens' offices

If your identity card and / or passport has recently expired or the expiry date is about to be reached, please use the appointment options of your Citizens' Registration Office. The responsible passport / identity card or fine authorities will take into account the extended waiting times for an appointment or the document in the event of violations of the identification requirement.

Whether and, if so, to what extent an expired passport / identity card is recognized for a specific process beyond the end of the validity period depends on the respective requirements and is not in the hands of the issuing authorities.

An application for a passport and identity card in a citizens' office outside the home town is only possible for an important reason; please clarify your concerns with the authorities in advance. In addition, there is a surcharge for non-responsibility (ID card: € 13.00; passport: double fee) and the office service of the actually responsible authority must authorize the selected authority to issue it.

The manufacturer, Bundesdruckerei GmbH, ensures continuous production and delivery to the accessible passport / identity card authorities. Due to the current crisis, there can only be delays in delivery.

If your passport expires in the next few weeks, a valid identity card is sufficient as a travel document for countries of the European Union as well as Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Turkey and the Vatican. You can find up-to-date information on the entry requirements of these destination countries online in the travel and safety information of the Federal Foreign Office.

You can find the answers to essential questions about identity cards and passports during the containment of the pandemic here (https://www.personalausweisportal.de/Corona_FAQ).

For German citizens living abroad

The pandemic also affects German nationals who permanently reside abroad.

As part of the locally applicable loosening, the domestic authorities of the state in which you live or the German professional consular representations (possibly not honorary consuls) will be able to gradually expand the allocation of appointments and issue passports. Depending on the location, longer waiting times for a preliminary appointment can be expected.

If necessary, more information can be obtained from the respective trade consular representations on how you can contact the local authorities again, taking into account the applicable infection control regulations.

The fact that German nationals permanently residing abroad can only apply for a passport / identity card from an authority in Germany is only possible for an important reason. Before appearing in person, please clarify in advance whether your reason is recognized by the authorities. It should also be taken into account that the office staff of the diplomatic mission responsible for you must authorize the exhibition, which takes some time.

Online identification

Many government services are already offered digitally, so that you can do them with the help of the online ID function of your ID card. If you have forgotten your PIN, you can set a new six-digit PIN of your choice for a fee in any open Citizens' Registration Office.

Please note that the online ID function of the ID card can no longer be used automatically once your ID card expires.

If your online ID function has to be activated in order to deal with an urgent matter, you can have this done at the citizens' office of your main residence. Alternatively, you can have the activation done by the issuing authority (see entry on the identification document). No exception can be made to this procedure, even during a crisis.