Hungarian identity card

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Hungarian ID card (obverse).
Hungarian ID card (reverse).

Hungarian identity cards are not compulsory[1] for Hungarian citizens, although they may be obtained by anyone after birth, but each citizens from 14 years of age must have at least one of the three identity documents (national identity card, a passport under the age of 17 years or a photo-card driving licence for anyone over 17 years old). Since 1 January 2006, it is possible for citizens to travel anywhere within the Schengen Area, the European Union and certain other European countries (such as Serbia and Macedonia[2]) using only this card.

Currently, there are three types of valid identity documents (Személyi igazolvány, abbr. Sz.ig.). The oldest valid one is a hard-covered, multi-page book issued before 1989 by the People's Republic of Hungary; the second type is a soft-cover, multi-page book issued after the democratic change of the state. These two documents both have one, original photo of the owner embedded, with original signatures of the owner and the local police's representative. The third, accepted since 2000, is a plastic card, usually called a Personal Identity Card, with the photo and the signature of the holder digitally reproduced.

The card shows the owner's full name, maiden name if applicable, birth date and place, mother's name, sex and validity period, as well as the local state authority which issued the card. The card has a unique identification string composed of six numbers and two letters. It does not have any information about the owner's residential address, nor their Personal ID—this sensitive information is contained on a separate card, called the Authority ID (commonly called lakcímkártya, "residential address card"). The Personal ID, which originated in the Communist era, is no longer used as an identification number, but only a statistical signature.

Other valid documents are the passport (blue or red, containing an RFID chip) and the driver's license; an individual is required to have at least one of them on hand at all times. The Personal Identity Card was mandatory to vote in state elections or open a bank account in the country, but now banks should accept any of the three identity documents such as the Passport and the photo-card driving licence.

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