Identity card

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The identity card (from the Latin personalis , "personal") is a proof of identity issued by government agencies as an identity document in the form of an official photo ID .


Identity card issued in Germany since November 1, 2010

The German identity card is an official photo ID as proof of identity. In principle, the identity card authority responsible for the main residence issues it at the citizen's request. German from 16 years for possession of an identity card or passport obligation. From April 1, 1987, ID cards were issued in the form of plastic-laminated cards with a paper inlay in ID-2 format (10.5 cm × 7.4 cm). Since November 1, 2010, the new ID card (nPA) has been issued in ID-1 format (credit card size ) with an RFID chip, in which the personal and biometric data (photo and optionally two fingerprints) are stored.

All chip functions of the ID card are also implemented in the open source project “PersoSim”; there, the ID card and the associated reader are simulated in software.

The federal identity card or the German passport are not proof of the possession of German citizenship. They only establish the presumption that the card holder is a German citizen. German citizenship can be proven by means of a certificate of citizenship ( citizenship card ).

In Germany you do not have to carry your identity card per se .


Austrian identity card, since 2002

The Austrian identity card was introduced in its current form in 2002 in credit card format . Around ten percent of Austrians have this document.

For children under the age of twelve, the identity card is valid for five years, then ten years. Since the changeover to the credit card format on January 9, 2002, personal data can no longer be changed, it is necessary to reissue them for a fee.

The Austrian identity card is not to be confused with the identity card , which is not a travel document or the externally similar green photo ID for EEA citizens .

The issuing of the identity card costs 61.50 euros and the application must be made in person. It is valid in all states of the European Union and most of the other states in Europe (except Belarus , Kosovo , Russia , Turkey and Ukraine ). Even Georgia , Montserrat (up to 14 days), Danish and French overseas territories, and (package travel) Tunisia and Jordan (Aqaba airport) accept the ID card.

Binding, up-to-date information as to whether an identity card is sufficient for entry can be requested from the Citizens Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the country-specific travel information, stating the country and the item "Travel information".


Identity cards (IDK, colloquially ID ) are the official identity documents in Switzerland and are valid as a passport substitute in most European countries and in Turkey . They are designed as plastic cards in credit card format and have a bluish base color on both sides. Earlier editions were made on paper. The identity card is valid for ten years for adults, three years for children up to the age of three and five years for children aged 3 to 18.

Foreigners do not receive identity cards, but so-called foreigner identity cards, which differ depending on the type of residence permit and are issued by the cantonal authorities.

The term “identity card” is usually used in Switzerland for the employee ID (see also Helvetism ).


Belgian identity card

In Belgium , electronic identity cards with card chips - the so-called “eID” - are being issued to the population in credit card format. In addition to the information that is also in printed form on the eID, only the address of the owner (not printed) and an electronic signature are stored on the chip . Suitable card readers can be purchased for clear identification on the Internet . These new ID cards are initially issued to first-time owners, i.e. mainly young people. They are combined with child protection functions. For example, chat rooms are to be set up that can only be used by chip card holders of a certain age. The eID is valid for ten years and costs 15 euros.

Republic of China

The current version of the identity card ( Chinese  身分 證 , Pinyin shēnfēnzhèng ) in the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been issued since December 21, 2005. On the front is the name, a photo, the gender, the date of birth and issue and the ID number. The name of the father, mother and spouse (and, if available, their rank in the army) and the place of birth are given on the back. The ID card is issued ad hoc in local offices of the household registration authority and consists of a laminated paper card covered with holograms, which is also provided with a barcode .

An Alien Resident Certificate ( Chinese  外僑 居留 證 , Pinyin wàiqiáo jūliúzhèng ) is issued for foreigners living in the Republic of China . It fulfills similar functions as the ID card, but is also used for re-entry into the Republic of China. It shows, among other things, the nationality, the name in Latin letters and in Chinese , the validity, the passport number and the purpose of the stay in the Republic of China. The Alien Permanent Resident Certificate is issued for foreigners with a longer stay . Residence cards for foreigners in the Republic of China are similar to credit cards; they used to be made of paper.


Estonian identity card of a Finnish citizen

In Estonia the identity card has existed since the beginning of 2002. Before that, you had to use the passport for identification within the country. The identity card is a chip card that can also be used for other purposes. For example, if you have a card reader on your PC , you can use it to sign legally binding contracts with a digital signature . The identity card is also valid as proof of health insurance. The chip can also be used in Tallinn on public transport as proof of the presence of tickets. The ticket is purchased by paying the amount due and providing the personal identification number (not to be confused with the ID number). For Estonian citizens, the identity card entitles them to travel to the other EU countries, Norway , Iceland , Liechtenstein and Switzerland ; for all other countries, the passport must be taken with you. For people under the age of 18, the ID card is issued for five years and for those aged 18 and over for ten years.

Foreigners will be given ID instead of a passport sticker as proof of the existence of a residence or work permit .


Finnish identity card

In Finland , ID cards ( Finnish : henkilökortti , Swedish : identitetskort ) are issued by the police in credit card format . Identity cards issued after March 1st, 1999 are valid as travel documents in the EU. The police also issue identity cards to foreign nationals residing in Finland. However, these cannot be used as travel documents.

The identity cards contain a chip and can be used for identification by means of an electronic signature. In particular, government services (such as the tax authorities) can be accessed via the Internet.

In everyday life, many Finns use either a driver's license or the social security card with a photo (KELA card) as identification. However, the issuing of KELA cards with pictures was discontinued on October 13, 2008; instead, the identity card can be provided with information relevant to social security. In this respect, the spread of the actual identity card is expected to increase.

When using foreign ID cards or driving licenses, there are occasional problems because it does not contain the personal number, which is ubiquitous in Finland (on the other hand, it does on Finnish driving licenses). Therefore, in practice it can be an advantage for foreigners to get a Finnish identity card if you do not want to exchange your driver's license.


Biometric Israeli identity card, since 2017

The Israeli identity card is described in the Identity Card Carrying and Displaying Act of 1982 . Every citizen who resides in Israel and is 16 years of age or older must carry this ID with them and show it to an authority upon request.


Italian identity card, since 2016
Identity cards issued in South Tyrol are also labeled in German

In Italy , the identity card is called Carta d'identità ( German identity card ) and is valid for ten years, based not on the date of issue of the document but on the date of birth of the person concerned. The original, relatively large-format ID card issued on paper was gradually replaced by the new ID card ( Carta d'identità elettronica, CIE ) in credit card format ID-1 with an integrated chip in a process that lasted two decades .

All new ID cards are labeled in Italian and English . In the areas of linguistic minorities in northern Italy , ID cards with an additional language are also issued. There are three trilingual versions:

The identity card is issued in Italy for Italians and for foreigners living in Italy (stating their nationality ) by the municipalities. Italians who are registered in the AIRE register of Italians living abroad receive an identity card from the consulate general responsible for them . This serves as proof of citizenship and as a travel document within the EU.

The submission of fingerprints has been planned for the new identity cards in credit card format since 2010. The built-in NFC chip contains the following information:

Accessible to everyone:

Numero Unico Servizi , a unique personal number for services such as B. an employee identification by a reader on an elevator.

By entering a number printed on the card :

Name, first name, surname, date and place of birth, gender, nationality, validity abroad, photo, parents (for minors), address of residence (at the time of issue), tax number, serial number

The information can only be read using a number printed on the card. This PIN code is not secret, as anyone who sees the card surface can read the same information anyway. Nevertheless, with a scan with z. B. a manipulated NFC reader, the personal data is protected.

The information given above can also be read by scanning the barcode on the back and the text below.

By entering a secret PIN number :

Client certificate

Accessible only to the Ministry of the Interior :



There is no ID card in Japan . Instead, the driver's license is used, on which the address is printed and which has to be renewed at certain intervals. The health insurance card can be used as an identification document for personal identification.


Croatian identity card

In Croatia , the identity card is called Osobna iskaznica and is required by law from the age of 16. The Croatian ID card is bilingual ( Croatian and English ), while the passport (Putovnica) is trilingual (Croatian, English and French ). For Croatian citizens, the identity card entitles them to travel to the EU states as well as to the other countries of Southeast Europe (such as Montenegro , Bosnia and Herzegovina ).


In Namibia , ID cards are issued free of charge to all Namibians and persons with permanent residence permits aged 16 and over. These are valid indefinitely.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian ID Card (2nd Series)
3rd series ID card

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , the National ID Card ( Arabic بطاقة الهوية الوطنية Bitāqat al-Hawiyya al-Wataniyya ), generally under the old name as Bitāqat al-Ahwāl al-Madaniyya  /بطاقة الأحوال المدنيةis the identifying document of identification and serves as evidence of nationality. The card is required to be presented to authorities and other institutions such as banks. The card can also be used for travel within the Golf Cooperation Council . Since April 2010 women have also been able to use the card to travel to these countries without the need for a male guardian to leave the country. When traveling to countries outside the Gulf Cooperation Council, this is supplemented by a yellow card of the same format.

Design and stored data

Since 2010, the ID card has been in the format of a credit card (similar to the German ID card) and also has a 2.86 megabyte magnetic strip on the back for data storage, which has an optical hologram of the holder's photo. Until 2009, the card contained a contact chip as additional memory. A barcode on the front enables identification via the authorities' intranet , as the ID is not machine-readable. Due to biometric features, one has also returned from the color photo recording made in traditional clothing to the more sharply contoured black and white recording. Except for the wording “National ID Card”, “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and “Ministry of Interior”, all personal information is printed in Arabic script. The validity is ten years according to the Islamic lunar calendar . In contrast to the Saudi passport, the identity card is also required to be presented in the interior of the country for spot checks at police checkpoints and especially when entering the holy sites of Mecca and Medina . Failure to show your ID can result in a fine. In the event of loss, this must be reported immediately to the issuing authority, the Al-Ahwal al-Madaniyya Central Residents Office, which is an organ of the Ministry of the Interior , separate from the office for issuing passports . In contrast to Austria, the submission of all ten fingerprints is mandatory. Until around 2009, fingerprinting was limited to the left thumb using conventional ink and paper.


Until 2005 there was no identity card in Sweden ( Swedish legitimation handling , mostly shortened to legitimation , or also called ID-kort ) in the sense of a travel document. However, since banks need some form of identity verification, ID cards existed before that, which were issued by the respective bank or post office. These meet the standard specified by the Swedish standardization organization SIS . In principle, this ID does not entitle you to travel, with the exception of the countries of the Nordic Passport Union . Although not officially compulsory and not issued by the state registration or police authorities, these cards have de facto developed into an identity card over time. For certain activities such as opening a bank account, taking a driver's license test, picking up a package, paying by card or visiting a doctor, it is desirable or even required to show such an ID. This is often a problem for foreigners living in Sweden, as their identity card or passport is not accepted in certain cases (such as when visiting a doctor) because these documents do not contain the Swedish personal number . Therefore, foreigners often try to obtain such an ID. The Swedish driver's license can also be used as an identity card.

Since 2005 there has also been a national identity card (nationellt id-kort) , which, like passports, is also issued by the police. It entitles you to travel within the Schengen area and other countries that accept such an identity card. Initially, however, the ID card was only accepted very hesitantly, as no advertising was made for it and most Swedes already have a passport; In addition, the national identity card has a higher price than a passport. In the first three months, only 7,000 ID cards were applied for instead of the 200,000 originally calculated. In the meantime (July 2009) around 260,000 identity cards have been issued. The demand is still far lower than that for passports. In 2008 around 930,000 passports were issued, but only 100,000 identity cards. The Swedish identity card is the size of a bank card .

Since the beginning of 2007 it has been difficult for foreigners living in Sweden to apply for an identity card, as banks often refuse to issue an identity card and Svensk Kassaservice, a subsidiary of the Swedish Post, initially tightened the regulations and, on May 1, 2008, the issue of identity cards has completely stopped, since it was liquidated at the end of 2008 anyway. As a detour to an ID card, in individual cases the only option was to exchange the foreign driver's license for a Swedish driver's license. The problem became public in March 2007 and was exacerbated by the fact that the situation was a potential violation of EU law. So the government conducted an investigation. The judge concerned submitted his proposals in December 2007. The government commissioned the Skatteverket, the Swedish financial and registration authority, to issue identity cards to foreigners from mid-2009. Applications have been accepted since June 1, 2009. However, there were considerable problems with the issue of the cards in the start-up phase. The new regulation also only covered people who were able to bring a guarantor with ID to the application or who were in possession of an EU / EFTA passport that was issued after September 1, 2006. Since the guarantor had to be a close relative (parents, grandparents, siblings) or someone with a professional connection to the applicant, numerous foreigners were still cut off from access to the ID card. In the meantime (2013), however, officials from authorities who know the applicant personally are also recognized as guarantors. In the case of foreigners who have a residence permit, a comparison of the personal data provided with that of the immigration authorities can be recognized as proof of identity.


In Spain , the identity card is known as an identity card ( Spanish : DNI = Documento Nacional de Identidad ) and is mandatory from the age of 14. In addition, the document number is one of the most important personal data - even before the date of birth - and appears in all official documents. Spaniards are required by law to provide the document number on many occasions, including banking. The fingerprint is recorded when the application is made . In older versions of the DNI, the fingerprint was also printed on the ID card. The current generation stores the fingerprint in a highly secure chip on the card. The fingerprinting of all Spaniards was introduced in 1940 during the Franco dictatorship . By April 2016, more than 49.5 million electronic ID cards had been issued in Spain.

ID cards issued before or under the age of five are valid for two years, ID cards issued between the ages of 6 and 30 are valid for five years, documents issued between the ages of 31 and 70 are valid for ten years, people aged 70 and over receive an identity card from unlimited validity (theoretically until January 1st, 9999).

A newer version of the DNI, the DNIe 3.0, has been issued since 2015. It is equipped with a more secure chip than its predecessor and with NFC technology. An Android app can access the ID's data using NFC and administrative matters can then be carried out there.

In the Autonomous Communities with co-official language, both monolingual output as well as bilingual identity cards. There are four multilingual versions:

The Spanish ID card is also issued to Spanish citizens living abroad. Before doing this, the applicant must request the certificate of their current place of residence (certificado de residencia) and a certified birth certificate (literal de nacimiento) from their consulate. For Spaniards who were born in Spain, the certified birth certificate must be requested from the registry office in Spain. The identity card itself must be applied for on Spanish territory (by presenting the documents from the consulate and a passport photo with a format of 32 mm × 26 mm with a white background) and accordingly cannot be applied for in an embassy or consulate . The local police are responsible for the exhibition.

The ID card is issued immediately when applying on Spanish territory for those born in 1984 or later and costs 12 euros.

For Spaniards who were born before 1984, the ID card cannot be issued immediately, as a request is made to the central registry office in Madrid. In this case, processing takes around 2–3 weeks.

Foreigners who come from the European Union and who have a residence permit in Spain for more than three months are assigned an identification number for foreigners (Spanish: NIE = Número de Identidad de Extranjero ). Neither an identity card nor an identity card for foreigners will be issued to you and you must therefore identify yourself with a certificate of registration (certificado de registro) and a valid passport of the country of origin.

Foreigners who come from countries outside the European Union and who have a residence permit in Spain for more than six months are also assigned an identification number and an identity card for foreigners (Spanish: TIE = Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero ) is issued in the form of a credit card. You have to identify yourself with this document in Spain and therefore do not need a passport or visa to enter or leave the country.

United States and Canada

Florida driver's license with Real ID sign (star in upper right corner)

In the United States there is no requirement to have an ID card. The driver's license with photo serves as a personal document, which can also be issued as a State Identity Card (ID card) for non-drivers . With the Real ID Act of 2005, the security features were standardized nationwide. Driving licenses and state identity cards are recognized by all federal authorities as proof of identification using this format, e. B. for domestic flights. All but three states have implemented the Real ID Act . (Status: 2019)

In the past, the Social Security Card served as an ID in written and official dealings . Over time , the social security number has only been used for personal identification. Today it is no longer sufficient to simply state the number and present the social security card. In most cases, additional proof of identification, such as a driver's license, is required.

Since 2008 there has been a passport card in addition to the passport . The card is issued by the State Department and can be used by US nationals to travel by land and sea within North America and the Caribbean . Unlike a driver's license, State ID, and social security card, the Passport Card or passport certifies possession of US citizenship.

In Germany, members of the armed forces identify themselves to authorities, such as the registry offices , with their ID card .

Similar to the USA, the driver's license is also used as an identity document in Canada . Some provinces (e.g. Ontario ) therefore issue a so-called Photo Card on request , the design of which corresponds to the respective driver's license.

Stateless persons

In accordance with Article 27 of the Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, ID cards are also issued by the member states of the United Nations to stateless persons who do not have a valid travel document .

See also

Web links

Commons : Identity documents  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Identity card  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Biometric identity cards
Check digits on ID cards
Regulations for the passport photo

Individual evidence

  1. PersoSim - the open source simulator for the electronic ID card . At
  2. ↑ Certificate of citizenship; Exhibition . Bavarian State Ministry of Finance, State Development and Homeland. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
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  6. § 3 Paragraph 3 No. 5 of the Residence Ordinance
  7. Travel information TCS
  8. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from May 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. ^ Court: There is no Obligation to Present an Identity Card upon a Policeman's Request. From: Revital Hovel , Haaretz , December 5, 2011, accessed April 11, 2013 (in Hebrew ).
  12. Amendment 54, Article No. 74 of the Electoral Act approved by the Knesset on December 5, 2005.
  13. ↑ Remarks : al-Aqsa mosque in the Jerusalem area, Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv , Aviv Towers in Ramat Gan and others.
  14. Team Digitale e AgID: CIE. November 9, 2019, accessed November 9, 2019 (Italian).
  15.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  16. ^ Foreigners to be issued Swedish ID - from 2009
  17. [1]
  18. [2]
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  20. Recognized guarantors for Swedish ID cards for foreigners (Swedish)
  21. Conditions for issuing a Swedish ID card for foreigners (Swedish)
  22. a b Gobierno de España. Ministerio de la Presidencia. Real Decreto 1553/2005, de 23 de diciembre . Website of the Spanish Ministry of the Presidency. Royal Decree 1553/2005 (December 23rd). Retrieved April 15, 2015
  23. Portal del DNIe . Spanish identity card website. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  24. Gobierno de España. Ministerio del Interior. Concept and validation of the DNI . Spanish Ministry of Interior website. Retrieved April 14, 2015
  25. Implementación NFC en DNIe3.0 . Spanish identity card website. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  26. Gobierno de España. Ministerio del Interior. Cómo obtener su DNI . Spanish Ministry of Interior website. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  27. Gobierno de España. Ministerio del Interior. Tramitación del DNI . Spanish Ministry of Interior website, accessed April 14, 2015.
  28. Gobierno de España. Ministerio de la Presidencia. Real Decreto 240/2007, de 16 de febrero . Website of the Spanish Ministry of the Presidency. Royal Decree 240/2007 (February 16) on the entry, free movement and residence of foreigners from the EU in Spain.
  29. Gobierno de España. Ministerio de la Presidencia. Real Decreto 557/2011, de 20 de April . Website of the Spanish Ministry of the Presidency. Royal Decree 557/2011 (April 20th) on the rights and obligations of foreigners in Spain.
  30. ^ Department of Homeland Security: REAL ID, accessed August 27, 2018.
  31. U.S. Department of State: Passport Card , accessed August 27, 2017
  32. Ontario Photo Card Ontario, approx., accessed April 15, 2015 .
  33. Website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior ( Memento of the original from September 25, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /