National identity cards in the European Economic Area

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Germany German national ID card EPassport logo.svg
The EEA area as of 2010
  EFTA member countries excluding Switzerland
  European Union member-states excluding Croatia
  EU member state provisionally applying the agreement (Croatia)
Members

National identity cards are issued by most European Economic Area member states (the area is the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to their citizens. EEA member states' citizens holding a national identity card, which state citizenship, can not only use it as an identity document within their home country, but also as a travel document to exercise the right of free movement in the EEA and Switzerland.[citation needed] Other identity cards, not stating a EEA citizenship, including national identity cards issued to residents who are non-EEA citizens, are only valid as an identity document within the issuing country and are not valid as a travel document for the rest of the EEA and Switzerland.[citation needed]

At present, five EEA member states (Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and United Kingdom) do not issue national identity cards to their citizens. Therefore, EEA member states' citizens from these five countries can only use a passport as a travel document when visiting other countries in the EEA or Switzerland.

Use[edit]

As an alternative to holding a passport, EEA member states' citizens can use a valid national identity card as a travel document to exercise the right of free movement in the European Economic Area and Switzerland, without a visa.[citation needed] An exception is Sweden, where the national id card is not valid if traveling to or from a non-Schengen EEA country.[1]

Strictly speaking, it is not necessary for an EEA or Swiss citizen to possess a valid national identity card or passport to enjoy the right of free movement. In theory, if an EEA or Swiss citizen can prove his/her nationality by any other means (e.g. by presenting an expired national identity card or passport, or a citizenship certificate), he/she must be permitted to enter and reside in the EEA and Switzerland without a visa. An EEA or Swiss citizen who is unable to demonstrate his/her nationality satisfactorily must nonetheless be given 'every reasonable opportunity' to obtain the necessary documents or to have them delivered within a reasonable period of time.[2][3][4]

Additionally, EEA member states' nationals can enter a number of other non-EEA countries and EEA member's territories in Europe, which are not part of the EEA, with their national ID cards (if issued), namely:

  •  Albania[5]
  •  Andorra
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina[6]
  •  Kosovo
  •  Macedonia[7]
  •  Monaco
  •  Montenegro[8]
  •  San Marino
  •  Serbia[9]
  •   Vatican City
  •  United Kingdom
    •  Akrotiri and Dhekelia
    •  Gibraltar
    •  Guernsey
    •  Isle of Man
    •  Jersey
  •  Denmark
    •  Faroe Islands
  •  Norway [10]
    •  Svalbard

Common design and security features[edit]

On 13 July 2005, the Justice and Home Affairs Council called on all European Union member states to adopt common designs and security features for national identity cards by December 2005, with detailed standards being laid out as soon as possible thereafter.[11]

On 4 December 2006, all European Union member states agreed to adopt the following common designs and minimum security standards for national identity cards that were in the draft resolution of 15 November 2006:[12][13]

Material

The card can be made with paper core that is laminated on both sides or made entirely of a synthetic substrate.

Biographical data

The biographical data on the card is to be machine readable.

Overview of national identity cards[edit]

Member state Front Reverse Compulsory/optional Cost Validity Issuing authority Latest version
Austria
Austria
Austrian ID card.jpg Austrian identity card back.png Optional (if a form of ID is required in daily life, passports and driving licences are also universally accepted)
  • €61.50 (applicants aged 16 or over)
  • €26.30 (children aged 2–15)
  • Free of charge (children under 2)
  • 10 years (applicants aged 12 or over)
  • 5 years (children aged 2–11)
  • 2 years (children under 2)
1 January 2005
Belgium
Belgium
EPassport logo.svg
Belgium ID 2010 (dutch).jpg Belgium ID 2010 (dutch, verso).jpg

Compulsory for Belgian citizens aged 15 or over

  • €17 (urgent: € 123 or more)
  • equivalent of € 11 or € 17 in local currency (citizens registered abroad)
  • 5 years
  • 10 years for old style ID cards issued by Belgian consulates
  • city administration
  • consulate (citizens registered abroad)
1 March 2010
Bulgaria
Bulgaria

Bulgarian identity card.png

Bulgarian identity card back.png Compulsory for Bulgarian citizens aged 14 or over to have an ID card
  • 10 years (adults aged 18 or over)
  • 4 years (children aged 14–17)
29 March 2010
Croatia
Croatia
Osobna iskaznica 2013 - prednja strana.jpg Osobna iskaznica 2013 - poleđina 01.jpg Compulsory for all citizens over the age of 16

HRK 48.50[14]

  • 10 years for adults
  • 5 years for minors
10 June 2013
Cyprus
Cyprus
€8.54
  • 10 years
1 July 2008
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
EPassport logo.svg

ID-card CZ 2012.jpg

ID-card CZ 2012 b chip.jpg

Compulsory for Czech citizens aged 15 or over who are permanently resident in the Czech Republic

  • 10 years (applicants aged 15 or over)
  • 5 years (children aged under 15)
1 January 2012
Denmark
Denmark
No national identity card (See Identity document#Denmark).
Estonia
Estonia
EPassport logo.svg

Estonian identity card front.png

Estonian identity card reverse.png

Compulsory for all Estonian citizens and permanent residents aged 15 or over.

  • €24.28 (applicants aged 15 or over) or €50 (in embassies)
  • €6.39 (children under 15, retirees, persons with disabilities) or €10 (in embassies)
  • €44.73 (urgent)
  • 5 years
Police and Border Guard Board 1 January 2011
Finland
Finland
EPassport logo.svg

Finnish identity card.png

Finnish identity card back.png

Optional

  • €53 (applicants aged 18 or over)[16]
  • €36 (children under 18)
  • 5 years
31 May 2011
France
France

French identity card back.png

Optional

  • Free of charge
  • 25 € (if the previous one cannot be presented, e.g. it was lost or stolen)
  • 10 years for minors, 15 years for adults.
  • Police (Paris)
  • Mayor's office in the town of residence (France, except Paris)
  • French consulate (overseas)
1 October 1994
Germany
Germany
EPassport logo.svg
Mustermann nPA.jpg Mustermann nPA RS.jpg

Compulsory for German citizens aged 16 or over to have either an ID card or a passport

  • 28.80€ (adults aged 24 or over)
  • 22.80€ (applicants aged under 24)
  • 10 years (adults aged 24 or over)
  • 6 years (applicants aged under 24)
city or town of residence 1 November 2010
Gibraltar
Gibraltar

Compulsory if you want to work

  • Free of charge
  • 10 years (adults aged 16 or over)
  • 5 years (children under 16)
Civil Status and Registration Office, Gibraltar 8 December 2000
Greece
Greece

Greek ID Card-Front.jpg

Greek ID Card-Back.jpg

Compulsory for Greek citizens aged 12 or over

  • 15 years
1 July 2010
Hungary
Hungary

HunIDfront.jpg

HunIDback.jpg

Compulsory for Hungarian citizens aged 14 or over (unless they already possess a passport or driving licence)

9 April 2001
Iceland
Iceland
The Icelandic state-issued identity cards do not state nationality and are not usable as national identity cards outside Nordic countries.
Republic of Ireland
Ireland
No identity card
Italy
Italy
EPassport logo.svg

Compulsory for Italian citizens aged 15 or over

€25.42 (duplicate €30.58)

  • 10 years
2001
Latvia Latvia
EPassport logo.svg

Identity card or passport obligatory for citizens aged 15 or over

  • €14.23
  • €7.11 (citizens under age of 20, retirees)
  • 5 years

Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs

2012
Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
EPassport logo.svg
Optional
  • CHF80 (adults aged 15 or over)
  • CHF30 (children under 15)
  • 10 years (adults aged 15 or over)
  • 3 years (children under 15)
Immigration and Passport Office, Vaduz
Lithuania
Lithuania
EPassport logo.svg

Lithuanian identity card back.png

  • 10 years (adults aged 16 or over)
  • 5 years (children under 16)
1 January 2009
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
  • 10 years (applicants aged 15 or over)
  • 5 years (children aged 4–14)
  • 2 years (children under 4)
1 December 2008
Malta
Malta
1 January 2002
Netherlands
The Netherlands
EPassport logo.svg

Optional (However, everyone aged 14 or over is required to show a valid identification document to the police when asked)

  • €31.85 (applicants aged 13 or younger[17])
  • €41.90 (applicants aged 14 or older[17])
  • €69.30 (applicants aged 13 or younger abroad[18])
  • €79.25 (applicants aged 14 or older abroad[18])
  • 5 years[19]
  • 10 years (planned change)[20]
  • Mayor's office in town of residence
  • Ambassador's office abroad (only in countries in which the Dutch ID card is a valid travel document)
9 October 2011
Norway
Norway
No national or even any state-issed identity card . National identity cards are planned to be introduced in 2015.[21] The introduction will be postponed until 2016. [22]
Poland
Poland

Polish identity card.png

Polish identity card back.png

Compulsory for Polish citizens resident in Poland aged 18 or over and for Polish citizens resident in Poland aged 15 to 18 who are employed or who do not live with a parent/legal guardian or who are not subject to parental custody/guardianship.

Free of charge

  • No expiry (adults aged 65 or over)
  • 10 years (adults aged 18–64)
  • 5 years (children under 18)

Wójt/Mayor/President of the City

7 February 2002
Portugal
Portugal
EPassport logo.svg

CDC4.png

  • 5 years
1 June 2009
Romania
Romania
Romania ID 2009.jpg
  • No expiry (adults aged 55 or over)
  • 10 years (adults aged 25–54)
  • 7 years (adults aged 18–24)
  • 4 years (minors aged 14–17)
12 May 2009
Slovakia
Slovakia
EPassport logo.svg

Compulsory for Slovak citizens aged 15 or over

Free of charge

  • No expiry (adults aged 60 or over)
  • 10 years
1 July 2008
Slovenia
Slovenia

Compulsory for Slovenian citizens aged 18 or over who are permanently resident in Slovenia and who do not have another form of ID with photo

  • €12.43 (children under the age of 3)
  • €14.25 (children aged 3–18)
  • €18.77 (applicants aged 18 and over)
  • 3 years (citizens under 3 years)
  • 5 years (citizens under 18 years)
  • 10 years (citizens over 18 years)
  • Administrative Unit
  • Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
20 June 1998
Spain
Spain
EPassport logo.svg

Dnie.jpg

Compulsory from the age of 14

  • No expiry (adults over 70)
  • 10 years (adults aged 30–70)
  • 5 years (applicants under 30)
16 March 2006
Sweden
Sweden
EPassport logo.svg
Optional (few have them)
It is not valid if travelling from Sweden to a non-Schengen EEA country
State-issued cards or driver's licences without nationality information are usually used domestically, and passports for travel.
  • SEK 400
  • 5 years
  • Police
2 January 2012
EFTA member state Switzerland is not a formal part of the EEA, but is through a series agreements a part of the area in practical sense in many areas. The Swiss identity card is usable as travel document inside the EEA and the EEA cards are usable inside Switzerland.
Switzerland
Switzerland
Optional
  • CHF 70 (adults)
  • CHF 35 (children)
  • 10 years (adults)
  • 5 years (children)
2003 (planned change 2016)
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
No identity card (UK ID Cards abolished 2011 by UK Identity Documents Act 2010)

Gallery of EEA national identity cards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]