U.S. Passport and Citizenship FAQs

You may renew your passport at any time before or after it expires.

If I don’t plan to travel back to the United States any time soon, why should I renew my passport now?

  • The passport is proof of U.S. citizenship. Every U.S. citizen abroad should have valid proof of his/her citizenship at all times.
  • Life is unpredictable. You never know when you may need to travel suddenly to the United States. The last thing you need to do in an emergency is to worry about getting to the Embassy/Consulate General to get your or your child’s passport renewed. It is much better to do it when it is convenient for you.
  • A valid passport is required for many German administrative purposes and you do not want to get caught with an expired passport if you need to process an application for some benefit.

Yes. In nearly all cases, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with the new one. If we are not able to return your old passport for any reason, we will discuss this with you at the time of the application.

We do not have the authority to transfer visas or stamps issued by other countries. When you renew your passport, your old passport will be cancelled and returned to you with your new one; you should then contact the appropriate authority of the country that issued the visa for further information.

No. You must apply for the passport at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are currently present. If you are in Germany, you must submit your application to the U.S. Embassy Berlin, the U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt, or the U.S. Consulate General Munich. If you are eligible to submit your application by mail, it needs to be sent to the U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt as all mail in cases in Germany are processed there (do not sent your application package to the United States).

You should disregard the instructions on the passport forms as they refer specifically to passport applications processed in the United States. You should follow the instructions of this website.

In general, children under the age of 16 are issued passports valid for five years; those 16 and over are issued passports valid for ten years.

You should allow four weeks for a full validity passport (ten years for adults; five years for children under age 16) or second passport to be processed, regardless of the method of application.

Emergency passports can be issued for a maximum period of one year.

If you apply for your regular passport within 1 year of the issue date of the emergency passport, you will not have to pay the fee again. When you receive your emergency passport, you will also receive a letter that explains how to obtain a regular passport after returning from your urgent travel.

As of January 1, 2016, it is no longer possible to add extra pages to a U.S. passport. You are required to apply for a new passport and in most cases may do so by mail. Please click here for further information.

Yes, but you will have to apply for a new passport in the new name.

There are certain acceptable forms of name changes that may be entered into U.S. passports. For further information on acceptable name changes and application procedure to apply a new passport in your new name, please follow this link.