Space Cowboy

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About Space Cowboy

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  • Location Mainz
  • Nationality US
  • Gender Male
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  1. Turo rental car - speeding ticket

        What the rental car companies are doing with their administrative fees is completely legal, and renters agree to it.  This, by definition, means it is not a scam.
  2. English radio in germany for traffic news, ice etc

      That's sad.  I lived in Bonn in the late 1960s/early 1970s, and AFN had the best collection of stoner and acid rock in the world.  It was definitely lively then!
  3.   You can buy an ID card reader on for 35€.   Such as this one: .    The software is free.
  4. Turo rental car - speeding ticket

        As others have pointed out, this is not a "governmental charge."  It is an administrative processing fee levied by the car rental company.  You are not getting scammed - you agreed to this when you signed the rental contract.
  5. Notarial services

    You need to look very carefully at the Apostille requirement.   An Apostille is issued only by what is known as the "competent authority."  Lawful government entities in each country determine what the competent authority is for specific documents, and only that competent authority can provide the Apostille.  So, you will not be able to get Apostille certification for a non-German document from a German notary or German government entity.   You will not be able to get Apostille certification for a US document from the Australian embassy (and v-v).   It gets more complicated.  The US Embassy or Consulate General can issue an Apostille for a FEDERAL document, but is not the competent authority for state or local government documents.   So, for example - I got married in North Carolina, and the marriage certificate was issued by the county in which I got married.  The competent authority in North Carolina is the North Carolina Secretary of State.  Only the NC Secretary of State can issue an Apostiille for a marriage certificate issued by a North Carolina county.  The US Embassy cannot do this.   My daughter was born in Tennessee, so she has a Tennessee Birth Certificate.  The competent authority in TN is the TN Secretary of State, so her Tennessee Birth Certificate was certified by that office.  The US Embassy cannot do this.   If my daughter was born overseas, she would have a Consular Report of Birth Abroard (CRBA, or Form FS-240).  The US Embassy could issue the Apostille for this document.   I am in the process of getting divorced, under German law.  When the process is final, the divorce decree will be certified by the competent German authority.  The US Embassy will not be able to issue certification.   I suggest you contact the various Embassies or CGs from the countries in which the documents were issued, to get advice on the most expeditious way to get the Apostille certifications you need.    None of this will be cheap.
  6. US Passports Exempt from 90/180 day stay rule

    My experience is that it is strictly enforced.  On numerous occasions before I got a residence permit, the passport control officers at FRA would go through my US passport looking for exit stamps to ensure I wasn't overstaying.   When I was in the process of moving here, I traveled back and forth between here and the US quite frequently.  I got a letter from a government authority (IIRC it was my local Einwohnermeldeamt) that said they had determined I was only a few weeks away from an overstay, and that I needed to submit a residence permit application to the ABH, or submit an Abmeldung and stop visiting.
  7. I don't know if this applies to a Fiktionsbescheinigung, but I'll share it anyway.  On my last trip back here from the US, I arrived at FRA on 12 October.  My residence permit expiration date was 16 October - 4 days later.  Border control said they would not allow me to enter on my still-valid permit, but I had a letter in hand from the local ABH that showed my new permit was in process of being printed.   So, I suggest you get a letter from the ABH you will be visiting, showing that you have an appointment.
  8. Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself?

    Did Epstein kill himself?  I always appreciated the sworn statements of two rural Virginia police officers who "witnessed" the suicide due to severe trauma that a drunken/belligerent/nuisance high school classmate apparently inflicted on himself many years ago:   "He tripped and fell down a flight of stairs - six or seven times.  We weren't able to stop him."    
  9. Whats your experience with IKEA customer service?

    I've had nothing but positive results with IKEA customer service here.  Their delivery firm broke some glass cabinet doors.  Replacements were delivered the next day, and the broken ones taken away.   I missed a delivery once because I could not be home on the scheduled day.  They called to reschedule, told me there would be a re-delivery charge, which I accepted, but they waived it after the fact.   I still hate assembling flat-packed furniture though
  10. Car rental in Germany

    The only challenge when taking a German-based rental car out of the country is that you need a country-specific vignette to legally drive the car in Austria or Switzerland.  Most rental cars available here don't automatically come with them.
  11. How to separate and maybe divorce

    I certainly don't want to add to the Stupid that has been rampant in this thread, but I feel I should offer a datapoint for those who didn't start with fully-hardened positions on the topic of whether a travel consent document is necessary:   I travel back and forth to/from the US with my Grundschule-aged daughter on a regular basis.  My daughter and I have the same last name, by appearance it is clear we are closely related, and we both have US Passports (and my signature is on the signature line of her US Passport as her legal guardian).  The child's mother also has the same last name as us.   Nevertheless, I have always erred on the side of caution, and brought a travel consent letter with me each time.  I never show it unless asked.   Since 2017 exit control in FRA has demanded to see a travel consent letter from the child's mother on two separate occasions (different officers each time).  Our last trip was on 28 September, and we nearly didn't make it through exit control because the officer initially decided that consent letter I had with me didn't contain sufficient information, and as I have found to be typical, he would not explain what he thought I was missing.  I had to drag out every piece of information and documentation I had before he would let us through.   Fortunately I had my daughter's Global Entry card with me (it is not required to carry it when entering the US), and the ID photo on the card shows my young daughter sitting on my lap for the photo.  That was apparently enough to convince him that perhaps it would be ok for her to travel with me.   Anyway, statistics from my travel show that on most occasions I do not need the letter I carry with me, but it would have been an expensive catastrophe if I didn't have it on the two instances where it was demanded.  
  12. Niederlassungserlaubnis after divorce

      My attorney in Mainz.
  13. Niederlassungserlaubnis after divorce

      How it was explained to me (I have a Niederlassungserlaubnis under 28 Abs. 2 AufenthG) is that this NE is a "special" NE specifically for Family Unification.  It is based on a family relationship with a German - not on a job, or other reasons for a NE.   It is an accelerated NE, specifically for Family Unification.  So, if the family relationship ends, so does the NE issued for this circumstance.   And yes, I could have continued my Family Unification-based Aufenthaltstitel as described, but the result is the same - if the relationship ends, so does the permit.   Various legal opinions seem to support what I was told.  Therefore, my advice to the OP stands - if he/she is applying for a NE based on 28 Abs. 2 AufenthG, and there is a chance that the marriage will end in the next few years, there is a serious risk that permission to stay in Germany will be rescinded.
  14. Niederlassungserlaubnis after divorce

      The Niederlassungserlaubnis issued under 28 Abs. 2 AufenthG doesn't work the same way as the standard "5 year" NE.   It is issued and is valid strictly on the condition that the family situation persists.
  15. Niederlassungserlaubnis after divorce

    I assume that you are applying for a Niederlassungserlaubnis based on "family unification," i.e. it will be based on your marriage to a German.   If you get divorced, then you are no longer here for the purpose of family unification.  Thus, your Niederlassungserlaubnis would become invalid.   If you think it's likely you will get divorced in the relatively near future, you should not go this route, unless you have minor child(ren) who will remain in Germany after a divorce.  If that is the case, change your residence sponsorship from your spouse to the minor child(ren).  Then you will be safe from the consequences of divorce.