Identity card

Germans are generally obliged to have an identity card as soon as they are 16 years old.

Germans are obliged to have an identity card as soon as they are 16 years old and are subject to the general obligation to register - or, without being subject to it, are predominantly in Germany.

Upon request, you must present it to an authority authorised to establish your identity (e.g. police, registration authority, border crossing point). The card holder may not be required to deposit the identity card or otherwise surrender custody. This does not apply to the above-mentioned authorities or in cases of confiscation and freezing.

The obligation to have an identity card does not apply to persons who have a valid passport and can identify themselves through it. The ID requirement is also satisfied by the presentation of a provisional identity card. There is no obligation to carry the ID with you.

The identity card is available in credit card format. The identity and travel document has an electronic storage and processing medium with biometric features (facial image and fingerprints). The card holder can use the document as electronic proof of identity (eID) on the Internet.

Obligations of the card holder:

  • present the identity card if an entry is incorrect (e.g. address or, as a result of marriage, the name),
  • hand over the old ID card when receiving a new one,
  • indicate the acquisition of a foreign nationality,
  • report the loss and retrieval of the ID.

Related Links

  • Foreign Office
  • Federal IDENTITY card portal
  • Old passport or identity card,
  • current photograph that complies with the provisions of the Identity Card Ordinance (biometric photograph) (the photo can be in black and white or colour),
  • Certificate with current name (birth, marriage, marriage certificate, family book, declaration of the name, etc.).


To enter or leave a country of the European Union, an identity card or a temporary identity card is sufficient for German citizens.

Upon request, an ID card must also be issued to persons who are not yet 16 years old.

If you do not collect your new identity card yourself, you must provide the person you intend to collect with a pick-up power of attorney that will both acknowledge receipt of the PIN letter and announce your decision to use the electronic identity function. The authorised person must identify himself by presenting the identity card, passport or similar. Do not provide the PIN letter to the authorized person.

Further information about the identity card can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI).

A children's passport may need to be applied for for children.

Without the possession of a valid IDENTITY card, there is an administrative offence , which can be punished with a fine of up to 5000, - Euro according to ยง 32 paragraph 1 number 1 in conjunction .m paragraph 3 of the Identity Card Act.

  • The identity card
  • Act on Identity Cards and Electronic Proof of Identity (Personalausweisgesetz - PAuswG),
  • Ordinance on Fees for Identity Cards and Electronic Proof of Identity (Id Card Fees Ordinance - PAuswGebV).

Related Links

  • PAuswG
  • PAuswGebV

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