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Registration, Permits & Other DocumentationBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Frankfurt - Registration, Permits & Other Documentation
Generally, Germany issues visas for stays up to 90 days; if you wish to stay longer, then you need to apply for a residence permit. Citizens of the European Union and the United States do not need visas to stay for less than 90 days; however, if you are a United States citizen, you will need to have a visa attached to your passport in order to apply for a residence permit. These can be obtained at the German Consulate in your home country.
Work permits are issued concurrently with residence permits; however, you will need to show that you have secured gainful employment, and will be able to sustain a living income over and above your housing costs.
If you are a resident of the United States, you can apply for and obtain your residence permit before you ever leave for Frankfurt. This must be done in person at the German Consulate in Washington, D.C., or at one of the Consulate's satellite offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, or San Francisco. It typically takes three months to process a residence permit, so make sure you leave adequate time for this before your intended departure date.
In order to obtain a residence permit before arriving in Frankfurt, you will need to provide the following information:
- Two copies of your residence permit application;
- Two passport photographs;
- Evidence of employment or a letter of intent from your employer in Frankfurt;
- Financial documents proving that you have the financial means to live in Frankfurt;
- Proof of health insurance coverage that is valid in Germany;
- The visa application fee; and
- Any other documents required by the German Aliens Office.
If you have already established a residence in Frankfurt, you will also need to register your address with the local Rathaus (city hall), and provide evidence of this registration with your residence permit application. Residents of Frankfurt are required to register their addresses within one week of moving, and must unregister when vacating a residence.
Obtaining a driver license is a simple process for expatriates from most countries. If you move to Frankfurt from a European Union country, then your license is automatically valid – there is no need to exchange it for a German license. If you are from the United States, your driver license is good for six months. After that, Frankfurt will allow you to simply exchange your license from most U.S. states for a German license without taking a written exam or road test.
If you are from South Africa or most other countries, you will be required to take a written and driving exam before you can obtain a driver license in Frankfurt.
You will also be required to register your vehicle and provide proof of third party liability insurance to receive and maintain your German driver license.
Your point of contact for obtaining your driver license and registration is the Ordnungsamt:
Mainzer Landstrasse 321-323
D-60326 Frankfurt am Main
+49 (0)69 212 44422
+49 (0)69 212 44423
If you need to obtain a birth or death certificate, or a marriage license, contact the Standesamt:
60311 Frankfurt am Main
+49 (0)69 212 33560
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