The Evolution Of The Federal German Passport

This article is about the design of the Federal German passport, but you will also learn exciting facts about passport history.

The Federal Republic of Germany was founded on 23 May 1949. However, the less known fact is that the young Republic was still under occupation of the allied forces and became a sovereign country only on 5 May 1955.

Passport applications in the first several months still had to be made at the offices of the allied forces. On 1 January 1950, the government office “Deutsche Amt für Ein-Ausreiseangelegenheiten” (German Office for Entry and Exit Affairs) became the primary issuing authority according to the occupation laws this office was still under the control of the High Commission for Germany.

Federal Germany finally gained full rights from the allied forces to issue passports by 1 February 1951 [1].

One of the first Federal German passports was issued on 13 November 1950 at the German Consulate General in New York, USA. Although in reality, this passport was issued almost three months before the Passport Act became valid.

The Evolution Of The Federal German Passport Within 67 Years
The very first Federal German passport design (1950-1955)

Let’s take a closer look at the number code printed on the back cover of the passport, which states “1 10010 50000 5.50”. What does it mean? The first six digits, “1 10010” specify the passport template. “50.000” is the number of the printed copies, while “5.50” signifies the printing date – May 1950.

The Evolution Of The Federal German Passport Within 67 Years
The number code on the back cover “5.50” means May 1950, the first batch of German passports.


This article was a collaboration with Regula, the leading entity providing solutions in questioned document analysis border control and conducting specialized training to law enforcement about secure documents. Regula’s product portfolio includes devices for document verification, image processing software, and information reference systems about identity documents and banknotes. With more than 25 years of expertise, Regula provides solutions to more than 130 countries and cooperates with government institutions and international, regional, and specialized organizations.

Read the full article here.

The Evolution Of The Federal German Passport Within 67 Years



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