Bilhete de Identidade (Portugal)

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Bilhete de Identidade (English: Identity Card), officially the Bilhete de Identidade de Cidadão Nacional (National Citizen Identity Card), commonly abbreviated as BI, is the national identity card of Portugal. BI's are valid for 5 years from date of issue, increasing to ten years after the holder turns 30 years old, and can be renewed within 6 months from its expiration date.

The Bilhete de Identidade is currently being phased out in favor of the more technologically advanced Cartão de Cidadão (Citizen Card).

Blank Bilhete de Identidade


As of January 1, 2001 it became mandatory for all Portuguese citizens over the age of 10 to carry a valid Bilhete de Identidade.[citation needed] Though not required, Portuguese citizens under the age of ten can be issued the BI.

As the Bilhete de Identidade meets European Union identity card standards it can be used as a travel document within the EU and some other European countries such as Macedonia,[1] Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, replacing a passport.


The card is a 10.5 x 7.5 cm laminated card embossed with the seal of the Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Information Contained[edit]

The front contains:

  • The Portuguese Coat of Arms
  • Photo of the bearer
  • Fingerprint from the right index finger
  • Signature

The reverse side contains:

  • Unique ID card number
  • Bearer's name
  • Date of birth
  • Parents' names
  • Birthplace
  • Place of residence
  • Marital status
  • Height
  • Issuing office
  • Date of expiration


The textual portions of the Bilhete de Identidade are written in Portuguese, as well as English and French to meet ICAO standards for international travel documents.


All citizens of Portugal are entitled to a Bilhete de Identidade. In Portugal, applications for a Bilhete de Identidade need to be made in person to a Loja do Cidadão (English: Civil Assistance Center.) Overseas applications need to be made in person at a consular authority (i.e. embassy, consulate-general, or consulate.)

In order to apply for a Bilhete de Identidade, an individual needs to provide proof of Portuguese citizenship. For example:

  • If citizen by birth: a valid (issued with the past 6 months) birth certificate is required.
  • If citizen through descent: birth certificate from country of birth, valid birth certificates of both parents (one of whom must have been born in Portugal.)

* See Portuguese nationality law for other examples

Consular authorities may require other pieces of identification (i.e. expired passports, valid passports for other countries of citizenship) as required by local law. A 3.5 x 3.5 cm color photograph is also required.


Currently, the Bilhete de Identidade is being phased out in favor of the Cartão de Cidadão or Citizen Card. This new card also replaces other official documents, including the Social Security Card, the National Health Service Card, the Taxpayer Card and the Voter’s Card. The government started to issue the Cartão de Cidadão in 2008.[1]


  1. ^ Archived from the original on November 14, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

See also[edit]