If you find out shortly before your trip that your identity card or passport has expired, you don’t have to worry about your vacation: the interior administration advises you to contact a Berlin citizens’ registration office directly. Temporary identification documents can be applied for there, which will be handed over immediately. Even those who did not have a passport before receive their document at short notice. This is even considered an emergency by the citizen registration offices, so it is not necessary to book an appointment well in advance. A biometric passport photo, on the other hand, does.
But be careful: A provisional passport does not contain a chip that can also be used to capture fingerprints – in some countries, however, entry without a visa is only possible if the passport contains such a chip. It is therefore essential to clarify beforehand whether the temporary passport is also recognized in the travel country. The Federal Foreign Office will provide information on this. The provisional passport costs 26 euros, regardless of age, and is valid for twelve months.
Even those who are already at BER and find out that their ID documents are missing do not have to interrupt their journey right away. The federal police will help and will issue replacement papers under certain conditions. A biometric passport photo is also required. There are usually service providers for this at the airport or larger train stations. In this case, too, it must be checked whether the replacement documents are accepted in the travel country.
If you still have a little more time before departure, you can also apply for an express passport. For an additional fee of 32 euros, this will be produced by the Federal Printing Office within a maximum of four days and delivered to the Citizens’ Registration Office.
A passport costs 60 euros for people aged 24 and over and is valid for ten years. The passport for persons under the age of 24 costs 37.50 euros and is valid for six years.
[More on the subject on Tagesspiegel Plus: After chaos at German airports. How well is BER prepared for the rush during the holiday season?]
Anyone who travels abroad and has statutory health insurance should think about foreign travel health insurance. Outside the EU and certain countries with which Germany has a social security agreement, the statutory health insurance companies do not reimburse any costs. In the USA in particular, this can quickly become expensive, warns the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV) on its consumer portal “Die Versicherunger”.
According to the GDV, travel health insurance abroad covers the following services: Medical care and medical treatment in the event of acute illnesses and accidents, inpatient treatment, pain-relieving dental treatment, medicines, bandages and remedies, medically necessary patient transport to Germany and transport costs in the event of the death of an insured person or the funeral expenses incurred abroad.
Anyone traveling within the EU is insured by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If the EHIC is not shown on the insurance card, the Federal Ministry of Health recommends that the health insurance company issue a certificate of entitlement. The EHIC does not cover return transport to Germany.
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Traveling to a certain country may require an appropriate vaccination. If you want to be vaccinated at short notice, you should not necessarily go to the family doctor, recommends the travel medicine outpatient clinic of the Institute for Tropical Medicine and International Health at the Charité on the Virchow-Klinikum campus. A yellow fever vaccination can only be given in state-approved yellow fever vaccination centers.
How quickly a travel vaccination can be given depends on the disease to be vaccinated against. The Charité travel medicine outpatient clinic is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.