CHILD'S PASSPORT (KINDERREISEPASS)
A type of passport issued by Germany since 2006 is a child passport (in German: Kinderreisepass). Children's passports are issued for children (who are German citizens) up to twelve years of age and are valid for a period of six years. When a child reaches the age of twelve, a regular passport must be obtained for international travel.
Unlike a regular German passport, the Kinderreisepass does not include biometric features and lacks the inscription EUROPEAN UNION at the top of the front cover. The exclusion of biometric information is due to the ongoing development of infants and young children and the low security risk they pose; nevertheless, the photo used in the passport does have to comply with biometric standards. All other features are similar to those of a regular passport: the burgundy red colour and the German coat of arms printed at the centre of the front cover.
A child passport has sixteen pages (unlike the regular’s 32), of which eleven are designated for stamping and the others are used for a title page, instructions and personal information. The first page features the words CHILD'S PASSPORT in three languages: German, English, and French.
Unlike a regular passport, the information pages in a Kinderreisepass are not security laminated (yet do have other security features) and have a different format. The information included is more or less the same, with the following differences: The type of passport is PC (Passport for children) instead of P (Passport). As in other passports, the main information page ends with a 2-line machine-readable code, according to ICAO standard 9303.
A child passport serves just like any other passport, with the exception that it is not biometric (or e-Passport). As a result, travelling to the US, for example, requires a tourist visa in spite of Germany’s participation in the United States Visa Waiver Program.
Alternatively, infants and children of any age are allowed to obtain a regular German passport (biometric) instead of a child's passport, which nevertheless has the advantages of low cost (2017: €13), short processing times and being issuable by honorary consuls (making them easier to obtain by German emigrants who live far away from a German embassy or consulate). Just like provisional passports, children's passports are issued without being sent to the Bundesdruckerei GmbH in Berlin, which is the main reason behind these advantages.