How do you solve a problem like Maria losing her ID?
November 21, 2009 9:46 AM   Subscribe

What form of identification can I get in Germany?

I am an idiot and I lost my American learner's permit last night. Aside from my passport, it was my only form of personal ID. Here, my ID is checked at least once a week during ticket checks on the train or when I'm boozing it up. Though I still have my passport, I'm wary of carrying it around with me everywhere.

A. Will a photocopy of my passport be a valid form of identification?
B. Can I somehow procure another form of ID here? Because I'm not German, I can't get a state-issued Personalausweis but because I'm not in America, I can't just pop into the DMV and get a new permit.
posted by apophenia to Travel & Transportation around Germany (9 answers total)
Contact the American embassy or consulate and ask them this question. You are not the first American person in Germany to only have a passport as a form of ID.
posted by dfriedman at 9:48 AM on November 21, 2009

Can you go to the Kreisverwaltungsreferat? I'm sure they'd be willing to issue you some form of ID indicating your status in Germany.
posted by Dukat at 9:54 AM on November 21, 2009

Ditto to the "contact the nearest US consulate/embassy" - I've needed to contact them in France a few times for what seemed silly questions to me ("do I REALLY need the original of my birth certificate??" when French authorities wouldn't believe that we only give out certified copies, just like in France, sigh...) and they always took the time to give very informative and thorough answers.
posted by fraula at 10:50 AM on November 21, 2009

Response by poster: Addition question: Would anyone bother trying anything nefarious with my lost learner's permit, considering it's practically useless except for ID purposes outside of the US?
posted by apophenia at 12:43 PM on November 21, 2009

Out of curiosity, where do you need a photo ID for ticket checks when you've got a valid ticket? (You may be better off using your passport, anyway—I've been yelled or frowned at by people who didn't like the fact that my driver's license was in English only, had the date format the American way, and/or didn't list my citizenship. I'm surprised you haven't run into more trouble.)
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:31 PM on November 21, 2009

Response by poster: When I take the train to school or the bus around town, I use a year-long "School and Fun ticket" with my name printed on it and the ticket checkers always check to make sure it really belongs to me.
posted by apophenia at 2:52 AM on November 22, 2009

You could get a notarized copy of your passport. This will cost you about 11 Euro and can be used instead of the original. You can find the next notary to you at this website.
posted by jfricke at 2:56 AM on November 22, 2009

Just saw your reply. In this case it might also be enough if you copy your passport and let the school secretariat confirm that it is identical with your passport.
posted by jfricke at 3:00 AM on November 22, 2009

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