Personal ID card
The personal identity card is issued on the basis of the “Law on personal ID cards and electronic proof of identity”. It is one of the most forgery-proof identity documents in the world. A chip in the ID card enables its electronic use. You can obtain comprehensive information about the new documents and its functions from the information portal provided by the Federal Ministry of the Interior: www.personalausweisportal.de.
Germans aged 16 and above and who are subject to the general obligation to register are required to be in possession of a valid ID card and to present it on request to authorities charged with checking personal information (e.g. police, registration office, border controls). This does not apply to persons who are in possession of a valid passport and can use it to identify themselves.
An ID card can be issued for children or young persons under the age of 16 (without online ID function) on the parents’ request.
For persons up to the age of 24, the ID card is valid for 6 years; for persons aged 24 and over, it is valid for 10 years. It is not possible to extend the validity of ID cards.
The obligation to possess identification is also fulfilled through the presentation of a temporary “ID card”.
Holders are not obliged to carry the ID card with them at all times.
Further duties for holders of ID cards:
- “to present the card to the authorities when your address has changed”;
- to hand in the card when it has expired or when another card has been issued to replace it;
- to report the “loss” and reappearance of the card;
- to report the acquisition of foreign citizenship and
- to report when the holder has on the basis of voluntary service joined the armed forces or a similar organisation of a foreign state of which he/she has citizenship.
You will require a new ID card if you change your name (e.g. upon marriage).
Provided a passport is not required for entry into foreign countries, an ID card or temporary ID card is sufficient.
- ID card – change of address
- ID card: Report of loss
Who do I have to contact?
Please contact the ID authorities in your place of residence.
- Another ID document, usually the old ID card and/or a passport, for example, and/or a civil status document (birth certificate) which proves the identity of the applicant.
- A current biometric photo (size 45mm x 35mm, portrait format, full frontal). You can find further information and examples in the “photo example table”.
Photo example table
To apply for an ID card, children’s passport and passport, children must come in person (including infants) to the citizens’ office for the initial application and every update. Both parents must sign the application. (Optionally, one parent can sign the application and the other parent can pick up the ID card/passport) In the case of sole custody, the court decision on this must be presented with the application.
The following fees are charged for the initial issue of the ID card as well as for the reissue after expiry of validity:
- €28.80 for applicants aged 24 and over,
- €22.80 for applicants up to the age of 24
Further, detailed information is available at the following link: “Personal ID card fee ordinance”
Personal ID card fee ordinance
Law of personal IDs and electronic proof of identity
Personal ID card ordinance
Personal ID card fee ordinance
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