New SOFA certificate deadline nearing

Mike Bowers
415th Base Support Battalion

Time is getting critical for individuals who need the new Status of Forces Agreement certificates.

After Jan. 15, German officials will not honor the rubber-stamped entries placed in passports or the passport-associated paper certificates that were previously issued by U.S. Forces, according to a U.S. Army Europe press release.

Uniformed members of the U.S. Forces in Germany don’t need the certificate. Neither do family members nor civilian employees who possess a passport with a State Department-issued SOFA stamp.
All other family members and civilian employees who will be living in Germany after Jan. 15 must get the new certificate.

The certificate identifies the bearer as one who is entitled to unrestricted entry and exit from Germany and to benefits, privileges and protection under the NATO SOFA.

“I’ve been dreaming SOFA certificates,” said Christiane Dixon, Kaiserslautern Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, referring to the frequency of requests to obtain the form (AE Form 600-77A) required for the new certificate.

“People have been calling requesting information, and a lot have already completed the application process,” said Ms. Dixon. The Kaiserslautern CPAC services the majority of the KMC Army civilian employee population.

Employees serviced by their CPAC can expedite receiving the form required to get the certificate from their passport office, Ms. Dixon said

“All they have to do is e-mail their assigned personnel assistant with their full name, social security and passport number.

“We will prepare the form for the individual for pick-up at a later time,” she said.

While family members of active-duty Soldiers and Airmen don’t need the form, they will need a copy of their sponsor’s orders when applying for the certificate at their passport office. All others must have the completed form for presentation to the passport office in addition to a valid ID card and passport.

The Kleber Kaserne Passport Office offers drop-off and pick-up the next day or same-day issue for those traveling immediately or when time permits.

“If people aren’t sure they have the proper certificate, they should check with their servicing passport office to make sure,” said Spc. Jessie Mizic, 90th Personnel Services Battal-ion passport agent.
Specialist Mizic said her office has been processing nearly 400 stamps a week for the past two months.

Kleber Kaserne’s Pass-port Office, 483-8892, hours are all weekdays except Thursdays 8 a.m. to noon for birth registration appointments only and 1 to 4 p.m. for all services. It is open Thursdays 1 to 4 p.m. for all services.

Ramstein’s Passport Office, 480-2240, offers same-day issue and is located in Bldg. 2106, Room 101.

The Kaiserslautern CPAC, located on Pulaski Barracks in Building 2925, Wing B, is open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon by appointment or pick-up only and 1 to 4 p.m. for walk-ins. It is closed Wednesday afternoons.