Belgian national identity card

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All Belgians aged 12 and above are issued with an identity card (Dutch: Identiteitskaart, French: Carte d’identité, German: Personalausweis). Belgians aged 15 and above are required to always carry it with them unless they are within 200 m from their homes. (Foreigners must at all times be able to provide identification, either a passport, or an identity document issued by another EU member state.) Holders who are Belgian citizens are also entitled to use the card for international travel within Europe (except to Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) as well as to Egypt, the Gambia,[1] Georgia, Turkey and on organized tours to Tunisia in lieu of a Belgian passport.

Use within Belgium[edit]

Belgians are required to carry the identity card and to show their identity cards when requested by:

  • police;
  • certain government agencies; or
  • authorised bus and train personnel.

Physical appearance[edit]

All fields on the card are bilingual (English in combination with either Dutch, French or German) and the heading "Belgium / Identity card" in all four languages. The used language (and the one used first in the heading) depends on the official language of the place of residence (per the Belgian language areas), unless the residence is a Brussels municipality, in which case the holder may choose between French or Dutch, or a municipality with language facilities, in which case the holder may choose between French or Dutch, or French or German, depending on the local language facilities.

The cards are in credit card format (ID1) and contain a 3-line machine-readable strip on the back starting with IDBEL. The card holds the following information:[2]

  • Photograph of the bearer's face
  • Names of the holder (Surname and first two given names, initials of further given names)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Sex
  • Nationality: Belg (Belgian)
  • ID card number, 12 digits in the form xxx-xxxxxxx-yy. The check-number yy is the remainder of the division of xxxxxxxxxx by 97.
  • Validity period (normally 10 years)
  • Signature
  • Identification number of the National Register (each individual is issued a unique number for administration purposes). This number consists of 11 digits of the form where is the birthdate of the person, xxx a sequential number (odd for males and even for females) and cd a check-digit.
  • Place of issue

If the holder wishes, the following info will also be mentioned on the card:

  • Marital status

Before 2005, the ID did not contain a chip, and the address of the holder was printed on the card. Currently, this is written only on the chip.

The ID card may be used as a form of identification when travelling within the EU. For most countries outside the EU, Belgian citizens require a passport.[3]

Belgian consulates still issue old style ID cards (105 x 75 mm, validity 10 years) to Belgian citizens who are permanently residing in their jurisdiction and who choose to be registered at the consulate (which is strongly advised).

The Cost depending on the Commune/Consulate is aprox 20.50 Euros (2015) with a 5 Year Validity

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Elektronische identiteitskaart
  3. ^ Reis Wijs - Reisdocumenten - Identiteitskaart