Apply for an identity card for the first time Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

As soon as you are 16 years old, you must have a valid identification document with which your identity can be established. This is usually an identity card or passport.

German nationals aged 16 and over are required to have a valid identity card or passport.
The period of validity depends on your age at the time of application:

  • Application under 24 years of age: Identity card is valid for 6 years.
  • Application from the age of 24: Identity card is valid for 10 years.

A temporary identity card is valid for a maximum of three months. You can apply for your identity card at your Bürgeramt at your main place of residence. You can apply at any other Bürgeramt if you can show good cause. In this case, you will be charged an extra fee for lack of competence.

  • biometric passport photo: The photo must be
    • be up to date and
    • meet the requirements for photos for electronic passports.
  • if available and not yet cancelled: old passport or children's passport (valid or already expired)
  • if no valid passport or children's passport available: birth certificate or marriage certificate
  • for children under 16 years of age: if necessary, a declaration of consent from the custodial parent who is not present
    • in case of only one legal guardian additionally the proof of custody

Related Links

  • Fotomustertafel


The obligation to apply for an identity card applies to you if you

  • have German citizenship
  • have reached the age of 16,
  • are registered in Germany,
  • do not have a valid passport.

To apply for an identity card outside your main place of residence:

  • You must be able to show an important reason why you are not applying for the identity card at the identity card authority responsible for your main place of residence.
  • Exception: The temporary identity card cannot be applied for abroad.


Ausführliche Informationen über den Personalausweis und dessen Funktionalitäten erhalten Sie über das vom Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat bereitgestellte Informationsportal:


Related Links

  • § 9 Personalausweisgesetz (PAuswG)
  • § 1 Personalausweisgebührenverordnung (PAuswGebV)

You must apply for your identity card in person at the Citizens' Registration Office. If you do not apply for your identity card at your main place of residence, you need an important reason and a surcharge will be added to the fee. If you contact your chosen Bürgeramt beforehand, you can find out whether and to what extent the Bürgeramt recognises your reason.

  • Young people aged 16 and over can apply for an ID card themselves.
    • If young people aged 16 or over do not fulfil their obligation, the persons with legal power of representation must submit the application together with the young person until he or she reaches the age of 18. A custodial parent may be represented by proxy by the other parent when making the application.
  • For children and adolescents under 16 years of age, all custodial parents file the application jointly. The children and adolescents must always appear in person as well, as the Bürgeramt checks their identity. They must also sign if they are 10 years or older at the time of application.
  • When applying, you must declare whether you want your fingerprints to be stored on the ID chip. From 2 August 2021, the declaration to provide fingerprints will no longer be required, as fingerprints will be taken for storage in the document every time an ID card is applied for.
    Exception: children under the age of 6 will not be fingerprinted.

  • The identity card is produced centrally by Bundesdruckerei GmbH in Berlin.
  • You can make an appointment to collect your identity card online, by e-mail or by telephone at many Bürgerämter. You can find out which options are offered by your local Bürgeramt, for example, on its website.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Home Affairs

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