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 an identity card issued by the Portuguese government to its citizens. The card was designed in order to replace the older Bilhete de Identidade (English: Identity Card), combining 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 purpose of its design was to reduce the number of separate documents needed to be presented by the citizens before the various institutions of the state. The card is equipped with a chip capable of storing encrypted personal data. According to the Portuguese government, this device guarantees its privacy: for example, stored medical information cannot be accessed by officials with access to the financial database of the citizen. That prevents abuse of power in obtaining data and protects the privacy of the citizens.

Other documents of identification[edit]

In many circumstances, a passport or driver's license can still be used as a identification document. However, the "identity card" or "citizen card" is required 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 be able to provide the identification at all times, 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]