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eID: the card with an electronic identification function for citizens of the European Union and European Economic Area nationals

sample eID card

The new eID cardsample eID card, © Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community

24.01.2022 - Article

On 1 November 2019, the Act on a Card with an Electronic Identification Function for Citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area (eID-Karte-Gesetz, or eIDKG) entered into force.
As of 1 November 2021, eID cards can also be issued by Germany’s missions abroad.

The new eID card: general information

With the eID card, citizens of the EU and European Economic Area nationals can deal with official or business matters by using the online function of their identity card or their electronic residence permit.

Please note that the eID card with an electronic identification function is designed specifically for the provision of digital services. The card is not intended to replace an approved and valid passport or identity card, especially when travelling. The eID may therefore under no circumstances be used as an official travel document.

Who can apply for an eID card?

● Citizens of the European Union and

● of the other countries in the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway)

who are

● not German citizens

and

● at least 16 years old.

Documents you will need to apply

To apply for your eID card, you will need to completely fill out and present an application form along with a valid identity document issued by your home country, e.g. a passport or a national identity card.

Your address will be stored on the chip of the eID card. You will therefore need to present proof that you are habitually resident abroad, e.g. a residence permit, a residence registration certificate or a lease. If necessary, you may be requested to present additional documents. 

Requests for the issuing of an eID card must be submitted in person at the German Embassy. For this, you must make an appointment through the online booking System. For further information and details on necessary appointments please refer to the website of the German mission in your Country of residence.

Validity and fees

The eID card is valid for 10 years and the issuing fee is 37 euro.

The validity of eID cards cannot be extended. You can however apply for a new eID card before your previous card expires. To do so, you must demonstrate that you have a justified interest in a new Card.

Useful links and Information:

  1. Act on a Card with an Electronic Identification Function for Citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area (eID-Karte-Gesetz, or eIDKG)
  2. Information on the eID card is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community
  3. Further information on the eID card is available on the portal of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community
  4. Brochure of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community
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