Citizen Card (Portugal)

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Verse of a Cartão do Cidadão
Reverse of a Cartão de Cidadão issued to a Portuguese citizen

The Citizen Card (Portuguese: Cartão de Cidadão) or CC is the national identity card issued by the Portuguese government to its citizens. The card was primarily designed to replace the older Bilhete de Identidade (English: Identity Card) and to combine other government documents (including social security documents, the National Health Service card, the taxpayer card and the voter registration card) in one secure card. The Citizen Card was first issued in the Azores in mid-2006.


The main objective was to reduce the number of identification cards necessary for the citizen to appear before any institutions of the state. The cards comes equipped with a chip capable of storing personal data encrypted, which, according to the Portuguese government, guarantees the privacy of the data. For example, medical data cannot be read by officials of the financial sector. That is important to avoid excesses of power in obtaining data and to protect the privacy of citizens.

Other documents of identification[edit]

In many circumstances, a passport can still be used as a form of identification. However, the "identity card" or "citizen card" is a requirement by the Portuguese authorities. Foreigners must have a passport or a valid identity card of their country of origin, including European Union nationals and must at all times be able to provide the identification when requested by officials.

Aspects of the citizen card[edit]

Reverse of a Cartão de Cidadão issued to a Brazilian citizen under the Porto Seguro Agreement
Reverse of a Cartão de Cidadão issued to a Stateless Person

The card is in the format of a smart card, and is similar to that of a credit card. The card contains a variety of information about the card holder.

The front of the card

  • Photograph of the ID card holder
  • Surname
  • Given/first name
  • Gender
  • Height (cm)
  • Nationality- Portuguese
  • Date of Births
  • Elements of civil identification, similar to the old Identity Card
  • Document number
  • Expiry Date
  • Card holder's signature

The back of the card

  • Names of parents
  • Numbers of the different bodies whose cards aggregates and replaces
  • Optical reading area good

On the chip

  • Digital Certificates (Card's authentication and electronic signature)
  • The same optical reading area in digital format
  • Address and other information (the system will be expandable)

See also[edit]