The German National Identity Card
Format and Functions
he German National Identity Card was introduced on 1 November 2010. It looks different to the former ID card and includes other functions.
At a glance:
- Smartcard format
- Integrated chip
- eID function for Internet use, vending machines or terminals
- Stored passport photograph and voluntary storage of fingerprints to clearly match the ID card with the ID card holder
- Electronic signature function to electronically sign binding contracts, applications, documents, etc. (must be purchased separately)
- Enhanced security features
- Special protection of biometric data
ID card logo on the reverse side of the card (can also be found on any equipment and everywhere you can use your electronic identity)
You do not have to replace your current ID card as long as it is valid. Old ID cards remain valid until they expire. If you wish, however, you can replace your old card before the date of expiry. In case of completing their 16. birthday, children have the possibility to activate the eID function of their German National Identity Card at citizen office for free.
What hasn't changed?
Like the former ID card, the ID card with eID function is a photo ID and an official document used, for example, for identification in police or border inspections. The countries you may enter only with your ID card and without your passport can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.
Additional information on your ID card can be obtained from...
- the brochures and leaflets in the download section on the top right,
- the public enquiry service of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community