Yes, your residence card (Aufenthaltstitel) allows you to travel within Germany, but does not allow you to cross the national border.
You are, however, required to show and/or hand out your passport and/or residence permit to an authorized official such as
- police and customs officer
- government employees, such as foreigners and registration officials
upon demand (§78 (6) AufenthG).
An Aufenthaltstitel is otherwise considered equivalent to a German Identification Card (§78 (5) AufenthG), since it contains the same information. For most Police checks, the Aufenthaltstitel will be considered sufficient.
- an Aufenthaltskarte (non mandatory card for other EU Citizens) is also considered equivalent
For anyone else: they may only ask you to show a Identification Card to make note of any, justified, information needed (§78 (8) AufenthG)
- a copy may not be made of the card
- you are not required to hand it out
- but can for the sole purpose of them to note any needed information
Employees of an Airline or private security firms belong to this category.
From the Häufig gestellte Fragen zum Thema: Aufenthaltsrecht
- I could not find an original English version of this page
Do I always have to carry my passport or passport replacement with me?
No, but you are required to have a passport or passport set for entry and stay in Germany. But that does not mean that you have to have it with you all the time. However, you must be able to produce your passport or passport as well as your residence permit at the request of authorities (in particular immigration and police authorities).
In doing so, you must pay attention to the following: You should submit the required applications in good time prior to (expiration of) the expiry date of your passport or passport kit Germany or abroad so that a new passport or passport record can be issued to you within the validity period.
You must immediately apply for a new passport if the previous one is invalid or lost. You must immediately apply for a new passport or change as soon as details in the passport are incorrect. If you do not have a passport, can not obtain it or your passport If you have relinquished a passport or passport substitute that you had lost, you must inform the immigration office or the German diplomatic mission hereof. This also applies if you did not report the loss.
The first and later sentences refers to the fact that a valid passport must exist
- i.e. an existing passport has not expired or has been lost
Act on the Residence, Economic Activity and Integration of Foreigners in the Federal Territory Residence Act
Documents with an electronic storage and processing medium
(5) The electronic storage and processing medium of a document pursuant to subsection 1 may also be used for the
additional function of an electronic proof of identity. In this respect, Section 2 (3) to (7), (10) and (12), Section 4 (3), Section 7 (4) and (5), Section 10 (1), (2) sentence 1, (3) to (5), (6) sentence 1, (7), (8) sentence 1, and (9), Section 11 (1) to (5) and (7), Section 12 (2) sentence 2, Sections 13, 16, 18, 18a, 19 (1), (3) to (6), Sections 19a, 20 (2) and (3), Sections 21, 21a, 21b, 27 (2) and (3), Section 32 (1) nos. 5 and 6 with the exception of Section 19 (2) stated there, nos. 6a to 8, (2) and (3) and Section 33 nos. 1, 2 and 4 of the Act on Identity Cards shall apply accordingly with the proviso that the foreigners authority takes the place of the identity card authority. In addition to the data listed in Section 18 (3) sentence 2 of the Act on Identity Cards, the subsidiary provisions stored in accordance with subsection 3 no. 3 and the abbreviation for the holder’s nationality may also be transmitted within the scope of the electronic proof of identity function subject to the requirements of Section 18 (4) of the Act on Identity Cards. Subsection 2 sentence 3 shall apply accordingly with regard to the blocking code and to the blocking characteristics.
(6) The authorities charged with implementing this Act or entrusted with sovereign powers to check identities may collect, process and use the data contained in the machine-readable zone to discharge their statutory duties.
(7) Public bodies may collect, process and use the data stored in the electronic storage and processing medium of a document pursuant to subsection 1 with the exception of biometric data, as far as necessary to discharge their respective statutory duties. Both the address stored in the electronic storage and processing medium and the address to be displayed pursuant to subsection 1, sentence 3, no. 5 may be changed by the foreigners authorities and other authorities designated by Land law.
Act on Identity Cards and Electronic Identification
Collecting and using personal data
Personal data may be collected and used from or with the help of the identity card only by
authorities entitled to check identification in accordance with Sections 15 through 17,
public- and private-sector bodies in accordance with Sections 18 through 20.
Automated retrieval and storage by authorities entitled to check identification
(1) Authorities entitled to check identification may not use identity cards for the automated retrieval of personal data. In derogation from the first sentence, federal and state police authorities and offices, customs administration authorities and state tax investigation units may, within the framework of their duties and powers, use identity cards for the automated retrieval of personal data stored in police databases for the following purposes:
alerts or to establish a person’s whereabouts for the purpose of criminal prosecution, enforcement of a criminal sentence or to prevent threats to public security, and
customs control as part of police surveillance.
No subject-related record of database searches that have not yielded any results may be kept, except as provided in legal provisions enacted in accordance with subsection 2.
(2) In the cases referred to in subsection 1, unless the law provides otherwise, personal data may not be stored in databases when the identity card is read automatically; this shall also apply to searches of police databases that have yielded results.
Checking identity using data stored on the electronic storage and processing medium
Authorities entitled to check identification may retrieve and use data stored on the electronic storage and processing medium of the identity card only for the purpose of checking the authenticity of the document or the identity of the card holder and only in accordance with the third and fourth sentences. Checks of authenticity or identity via public communication channels shall not be permitted. If the law enforcement or customs authorities, state tax investigation units, identity card, passport or registration authorities may check the authenticity of the identity card or the identity of the card holder, they shall be authorized to retrieve biometric and other data stored on the electronic storage and processing medium of the identity card, to collect the necessary biometric data from the identity card holder and to compare these biometric data. The data collected in accordance with the third sentence shall be erased immediately after the authenticity of the identity card or the identity of its holder has been checked.
Storage using electronic identification
Use by public- and private-sector bodies
(1) The card holder may use the identity card as proof of identity and authorization document vis-à-vis public- and private-sector bodies.
(2) Public- and private-sector bodies may use the identity card only to verify identity electronically and not for the automated retrieval or storage of personal data.
(3) Serial numbers, blocking codes and blocking attributes may not be used to enable the automated retrieval of personal data or to link data files. This shall not apply to service providers checking blocking attributes for the purpose of checking whether an identity card's electronic identification function has been blocked.