Never have I been happier to see those two letters. I got my brand new passport in the mail, and they wrote it as Staebler. Not Stabler. Thank God! I am so excited, even though that’s still not even my real name (Stäbler)! It’s close enough and I’ll take it!


I got the bigger passport with the extra pages in it. I figure that between now and 2022, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to use it. And I must say, I really like the design of the new passport. It’s got such pretty pages, with scenes of the American countryside, the Constitution, and bald eagles, and with lots of famous quotes from past presidents and excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. I must say, it made me feel really patriotic and beam with pride.

I wanted to get the passport card as well, but didn’t because the guy at the Embassy said that a lot of people want to get it to use as ID here, but that it wouldn’t be good enough. I doubted him (and still do) but I caved and just went for the bigger passport instead. Has anyone else had experience with that recently? Do you have a passport card? If so, do you use it as ID at the bank or in other places?

It’s a bit strange having two official names in two different countries. But now I can work on getting everything changed. I’ll probably still have to bring my marriage license with me to prove that it’s Ä for the German stuff. First step though, I’ll have to get my visa changed. I’m not looking forward to that next trip to the Ausländerbehörde…here’s hoping it won’t be too complicated.


3 thoughts on “AE

  1. I like the passport, except for the main page with the picture on it. It looks like some kitsch from the back of a leather jacket, and it’s got that weird picture of a bald eagle looking like he’s posing for a picture. You can actually imagine him asking “Have YOU been injured in an accident?”

    • Hah – you do have a point, Brett! One other thing I don’t like about it is that the picture isn’t first anymore when you open the passport, and you have to flip one more page to show the picture part. I guess that’s because of the biometric stuff on the front cover now.

  2. When you get your visa changed, it’ll be one of those little credit-card-sized visas instead of the sticker in your passport. At least, that’s how mine worked. I got my new passport only a week after applying for in person in Munich (which was totally unnecessary, but that’s another story) and my Ausländerbehörde answered my questions about the new visa and my new passport within an hour via email (I was so impressed!).

    And THAT is a form of ID you can use for some online services, but, according to everyone we’ve asked, including the Ausländerbehörde in Regensburg, you still have to carry your passport around with you for in-person proof of ID. I guess it doesn’t count as government-issued ID, except electronically.

    Here’s the brochure they gave me while applying for it and waiting for the PIN letter to arrive:
    And here’s the federal website devoted to this topic in general:

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