List of national identity card policies by country

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Compulsory ID cards
  Non-compulsory ID cards

This is a list of identity document policies by country.

A national identity document is an identity card with a photo, usable as an identity card at least inside the country, and which is issued by an official authority.

Driver's licenses and other cards issued by state or regional governments indicating certain permissions are not counted here as national identity cards. So for example, by this criterion, the United States driver's license is excluded, as these are issued by local (state) governments.

Identity card policies by country[edit]

Countries with compulsory identity cards[edit]

According to a 1996 publication by Privacy International, around 100 countries had enacted laws making identity cards compulsory.[1] In these countries, the card must be shown on demand by authorized personnel under specified circumstances. In some countries alternative proof of identity, such as a driving licence is acceptable. Privacy International said that "virtually no common law country has a card".[1] One noticeable exception is Hong Kong (a common law jurisdiction).

The term "compulsory" may have different meanings and implications in different countries. Possession of a card may only become compulsory at a certain age. There may be a penalty for not carrying a card or similar official identification such as a passport. In some cases a person may be detained until identity is proven. This facilitates police identification of fugitives. In some countries, police need a reason, such as suspicion of a crime or security risk. In other countries, police can ask for official identification without stating a reason. Random checks are rare, except in police states. Normally there is an age limit, such as 18, after which possession is mandatory, even if minors aged 15–17 may need a card in order to prove that they are under 18.

In the European Union, a citizen's national identity card, if it complies with certain technical standards and states citizenship, can in most cases be used to travel (within the EU) in lieu of a passport.[2]

Country Name Description
 Afghanistan Tazkira
(Afghan identity card)
The Tazkira is an electronic ID card issued to a citizen of Afghanistan.[3]
 Albania Letërnjoftimi
(Albanian Identity Card)
The Letërnjoftimi is an electronic biometric ID card, compulsory upon 16 years old and costs 1200 lekë (€10).
 Algeria بطاقة الهوية الوطنية/ Carte nationale d’identité (Algerian National Identity card) The Algerian national identity card is an electronic biometric ID card, compulsory for all Algerian nationals and costs 2500 Algerian Dinar.
 Angola Bilhete de identidade de cidadão nacional (national citizen identity card) The Angolan national identity is compulsory. It contains the person's name, date of birth, date and place of issue, validity, filiation, photo, marital status, fingerprint of the citizen's right indicator, a signature and address. Nevertheless, more than 12 million Angolans do not possess a national identity card.[4]
 Antigua and Barbuda Electoral National Identification card The Antiguan and Barbudan national identity card is compulsory for voting as well as for different government transactions.
 Argentina Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI)
(National Identity Card)
The Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) is issued at a person's birth, and updated at 8 and 14 years of age, and thereafter renewed every fifteen years.[5] For many years, the DNI was issued as a small booklet (libreta). In 2009, the DNI was revamped and digitalized; and booklets were issued along with a card (tarjeta) simultaneously. Since 2012, DNIs are issued only in card format, and starting in 2015, they'll have a chip with information of the holder and NFC payment. The new DNI card is required to obtain a new Argentine passport and there are penalties if they aren't renewed in time.
 Azerbaijan Şəxsiyyət vəsiqəsi
(Azerbaijan Identity Card)
The Şəxsiyyət vəsiqəsi is an ID card, compulsory upon 16 years old and costs 5 manats (€2,5). It is not compulsory to carry it at all time.
 Bahrain Central Popular Registration (CPR) Central Population Register (CPR) is a nine digit (all numeric) identification number which is also called as personal number issued for all the residents living in Bahrain. In order to avail basic or any services, carry out financial transactions one must have CPR.
 Bangladesh National identity card (NID-Card)
জাতীয় পরিচয়পত্র
"National Identity" (NID) card is a compulsory electronic biometric identification for all citizens at the age of 18 and above.[6] All Bangladeshis are issued with an NID Card which is mandatory to obtain a Passport, Driving Licence, credit card, and to register land ownership, SIM Card, various allowance provided through Social Welfare Division of Bangladeshi Government etc. Moreover, Each citizen of Bangladesh is directed to have "Birth Registration Certificate" (BRC) immediately after birth. BRC is mandatory for obtaining NID and usually protect the identity of minors who are not eligible for NID due to age restriction.
 Belarus Нацыянальная ідэнтыфікацыйная карта (Belarus national identity card (since 2021)) Belarus has combined the international passport and the internal passport into one document. It follows the international passport convention but has extra pages for domestic use. The Belarusian passport is compulsory at 14. Reissued every 10 years. Could be issued before 14 for travelling purposes. New biometric identity cards were rolled out in 2021.
 Belgium Identiteitskaart / Carte d’Identité / Personalausweis (Identity Card) The card is first issued at age 12, compulsory by 15. Since the beginning of 2005 the eID (electronic IDentity card) has been issued to Belgian citizens who apply for a new identity card. Apart from being a form of identification, the card also is used for authentication purposes. Future usages include using the eID as a library card, keycard for restricted areas or chatrooms and the digital signing of documents. It is expected that in 2009 all Belgians will have an eID card.[7][8] They have to be carried at all times.
 Benin Carte nationale d'identité (National identity card) Compulsory. Biometric since 2016.[9]
 Bhutan Bhutan citizenship card The Bhutanese national identity card is an electronic ID card, compulsory for all Bhutanese nationals and costs 100 Bhutanese ngultrum.
 Bolivia Cédula de identidad (Identity Card) Compulsory at 18, but rarely required by police.
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Lična Karta / Osobna iskaznica (Identity Card) Compulsory at 16 and is to be carried at all times after turning 18.
 Botswana Omang (National Identity Card) It is compulsory for all citizens at age 16, and there are penalties for not obtaining it within one month of turning 16 or obtaining citizenship, whichever comes last. Includes the image of the individual (no headgear or eyewear), their particulars, and their right thumbprint. Valid for 10 years, whereupon it must be renewed and a new photograph taken. Must be presented upon request by any agent of the state, and the state requires all non-state institutions to use the national ID card as the only acceptable means of identification for citizens – passports and driver's licences should not be used, even though they contain most of the information on the ID card, including the ID card number. There are penalties for being issued a replacement card when it has been lost, however, if it is changed to update information on it only the application fee must be paid (e.g., upon expiry, and legal name changes as when a woman gets married and assumes her husband's surname). Every time a new one is issued for whatever reason, a new photograph must be taken. The individual keeps their national ID card number for life, and in recent years it has been linked to the birth certificate number of newborn infants (it is the same number). The national ID card must be surrendered to the government upon the demise of the individual, at which time it will be exchanged for an official death certificate.
 Brazil Cédula de Identidade (Identity Card) Compulsory to be issued since the age of 18 (though it can be substituted by a series of equivalent documents, see below). It is usually issued, for civilians, by the secretariat of public security of each unit of the federation, but other – including the Armed Forces, the Police and some professional councils – can issue alternate identity cards, too. All must meet certain specifications – they are all coloured green – but each unit of the federation can include minor differences such as the numbering scheme, font, printed seal, and background pattern.

The card's front has the bearer's picture (with an electronic stamp on it) and right thumb print. It also includes either the bearer's signature or – if the bearer is illiterate – the phrase "cannot sign" (não assina) The verso has the unique number assigned the bearer (registro geral or RG), the bearer's full name, filiation, birthplace (locality and federation unit), birth date, and CPF number. It may include some additional information. It is officially 102 × 68 mm,[10] but lamination tends to make it slightly larger than the ISO/IEC 7810 ID-2 standard of 105 × 74 mm, so it is a tight fit in most wallets. A driver's licence has only recently been given the same legal status as the national identity card. In most situations, only a few other documents can be substituted for a national identity card: for example, identification documents issued by national councils of professionals.

 Brunei Kad Pengenalan (National Identity Card) Compulsory for all citizens at the age of 12.[11]
 Bulgaria Лична карта (Identity Card) First issued and is compulsory after turning the age of 14. The new Bulgarian ID cards were introduced in 1999. They follow the general pattern in the EU and replaced the old, Soviet-style "internal passports", also known as "green passports". Since 2007, the Bulgarian identity card can be used to travel within the European Union.
 Burkina Faso Carte d'Identité Nationale Burkinabè (CNIB) [Burkinabé National Identity Card] National Identity Card compulsory at the age of 15 and valid for 10 years.[12]
 Burundi Carte Nationale d'Identité (CNI) [National Identity Card] National Identity Card compulsory. Valid for international travel within the East African Community.[13]
 Cambodia Khmer Identity Card Compulsory and biometric since 2011.[14]
 Cameroon Carte nationale d'identité / national identity card Optional, although compulsory for voting, acquisition of both passports and driving licenses and for certain government transactions.[15][16]
 Cape Verde Cartão Nacional de Identificação (CNI) [National Identity Card] The Cape Verdian national identity card (referred as “Citizen card”) is an electronic biometric ID card, compulsory for all Cape Verdian nationals. The card format is identical to the Portuguese Citizen card, with information displayed in Portuguese, English and French and is made by the same company, also in Portugal. New biometric identity cards are being issued since 2018, replacing the format paper (similar to the old Portuguese identity card) which was issued since 1957.
 Central African Republic Carte nationale d'identité (National identity card) Compulsory.[17]
 Chad Carte nationale d'identité (National Identity Card) Compulsory with a price of 10.000 CFA.[18]
 Chile Cédula de identidad (Identity card) Normally this is first issued at age 2 or 3, but it can be issued whenever the legal ascendant(s) request its issue. It is compulsory at 18, when it has to be carried at all times.
 China Resident Identity Card (居民身份证) Normally this is first issued at school age, but it can be issued whenever the legal ascendant(s) request its issue.
 Colombia Documento de Identidad / Cédula de Ciudadanía (Identity document) Registro Civil de Nacimiento (Birth record) issued when the legal ascendant(s) register the newborn.[19] Tarjeta de identidad is issued aged 7. From 26 June 2013, is available the new format (coloured sky blue) with biometric features. The previous format (coloured pink) is still valid until the minor reaches 14, when he or she has to request the new sky blue format.[20] Cédula de Ciudadanía is compulsory at the age of 18, and from 31 July 2010, the only valid format is the yellow one. It has to be carried at all times and must be presented to police or the military upon their request.

At end of 2020, a new Electronic Identity Document is being issued with had to be renewed every 10 years, it allows to carry a physical card and also available through a mobile application[21]

 Comoros Carte nationale d’identité (Comoros national identity card) The Comorian national identity card is an ID card, compulsory for all Comorian nationals. Biometric since January 2018.
 Congo, Republic of the Carte nationale d'identité (national identity card) Compulsory at the age of 18.
 Costa Rica Cédula de identidad (Costa Rica) Every citizen immediately must carry an ID card after turning 18.
 Croatia Osobna iskaznica (Personal card) The Croatian identity card is compulsory for citizens of Croatia who have a permanent residence in Croatia and are at least 18 years old. By law, it must to be carried at all times.
 Cuba Carnet de identidad (Identity card) Compulsory for anyone 16 and older and must be carried at all times. It is routinely used for identification and is often necessary to conduct public and private business.
 Cyprus Greek: Δελτίο Ταυτότητας
Turkish: Kimlik Kartı (Identity card)
Compulsory at 12.
 Czech Republic Občanský průkaz (Civil card) Compulsory at 15 for those with a permanent stay registered in the country.
 Djibouti Carte nationale d'identité/ بطاقة الهوية الوطنية (national identity card) Compulsory for all Djiboutians. Electronic since 2014.[22]
 Dominican Republic Cédula de Identidad y Electoral (CIE)(Personality Verification Card) If needed, an underage ID card may be obtained at the age of 16, yet the official ID (which will allow the individual to vote) is obtained at 18.
 East Timor Bilhete de Identidade (Identity Card) Compulsory for all East Timorese citizens. Issued since 2018, with EU and Portuguese funds.[23]
 Ecuador Cédula de Identidad (National identity card) Every citizen over 18 years must have a national identity card. The renewal of the card is $10.00.[24][25][26]
 Egypt بطاقة تحقيق الشخصية (Personality Verification Card) The Personality Verification Card is compulsory at the age of 16. Issued by the Civil Registry Office which is subordinate to the Ministry of Interior. Not carrying the ID card is only penalised by fine not exceeding £E200.
 El Salvador Documento Único de Identidad (Unique Identity Document) Every citizen 18 years or older must carry this ID card.
 Equatorial Guinea Documento de Identidad Personal (Personal Identity Document) Compulsory to all citizens.[citation needed]
 Eritrea ሃገራዊ ናይ መንነት ወረቀት (National identity card) Compulsory for all Eritrean citizens. New version rolled out in 2014.[27][28]
 Estonia Isikutunnistus (Identity card) Compulsory by law, but there is no penalty for not having one. Many electronic services are available (legally binding digital signatures, internet banking, internet voting, strong authentication to government and private websites). Citizens carrying ID cards are not required to carry drivers licence and registration.
 Eswatini National ID card Compulsory for all citizens of the Kingdom of Eswatini.
 Gabon Carte Nationale d'identité (National Identity card) Compulsory.[29]
 Gambia Gambian National Identity Card All Gambian citizens 18 years or older are required to hold a Gambian National ID Card.
 Georgia ეროვნული პირადობის მოწმობა (National identity card) Compulsory for Georgian citizens after turning 14 (within 6 months). Valid for international travel to Turkey.[30]
 Ghana Ghana Card Compulsory for Ghanaian citizens above 16.
 Greece Αστυνομική Ταυτότητα (Police Identity Card) In Greece, the biggest change in the Identity Documents Law happened in 2000, when some fields of the Police Identity Card (as Greeks call it) were rejected. These fields included religion, addresses, biometric characteristics and a fingerprint. Conversely, some fields were added: Latin transliterations of name and surname and blood type of the owner. Under this law, all Greeks over 12 years old must have an Identity Card issued.

In Greece, there are many everyday things one cannot do without an ID. In fact, according to an older law, the Police ID is the only legal identity document and no one has a right to ask for more identity documents. Since the 1980s all legal services in Greece must be done with this ID. It is possible to travel within the EU using a Greek national ID card, although it may cause delays at border controls because those cards do not have machine-readable zones. Carrying any ID is not de jure compulsory. However, during routine police checks, if a citizen is found without an ID, the police officer may take them to the nearest police station for further investigation, thus rendering always carrying the ID card de facto compulsory.

 Guatemala Documento Personal de Identificación (National Identity Document) Identity cards are issued to any Guatemalan and legal residents. For children between 0 and 12 years the document is golden shaded; between 13 and 17 years the document is silvered.[31] Documents for Guatemalan citizens are blue[32] and for legal residents are red.[33]

Guatemalan constitution requires personal identification via documentation, person rooting or the government. If the person cannot be identified may be sent to a judge until identification is provided.[34]

 Guinea Carte nationale d'identité (National identity card) Compulsory with a price of 100.000/150.000 CFA.
 Guinea-Bissau Bilhete de identidade CEDEAO (CEDEAO national identity card) Biometric since 2018, with a price of 10,000 CFA.[35]
 Guyana Guyana national identity card The Guyanese national identity card is an electronic ID card, compulsory for all Guyanese nationals.
 Haiti Kat idantifikasyon nasyonal / Carte d'identification nationale (National identification card) The Haitian national identity card is an electronic ID card, compulsory for all Haitian nationals at the age of 18.
 Honduras Cédula de identidad (national identity card) The Honduran national identity card is an electronic ID card, compulsory for all Honduran nationals at the age of 18.[36]
 Hong Kong Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID) Identity cards have been used since 1949, and been compulsory since 1980. Children are required to obtain their first identity card at age 11, and must change to an adult identity card at age 18.

Police officers have an absolute right to require every person aged 15 or above on public premises to produce their HKID or valid passport for inspection; failure to produce such photo ID constitutes an offence in law. The reason for setting up police random checks is due to the end of Touch Base Policy on 24 October 1980, which all illegal immigrants from China that failed to present valid Hong Kong Identity Card at random checks will be immediately sent back to Mainland China.

 Indonesia Kartu Tanda Penduduk – KTP (Resident Identification Card) The card is issued to Indonesian citizens and foreign nationals with permanent residence in the Republic of Indonesia. Possession of KTP is compulsory for residents whose age is 17 or older, and residents who is married before the age of 17. The electronic version (e-KTP) is valid indefinitely, unless the data recorded on the card has changed (e.g. address, marital status, etc.).
 Iran کارت شناسائی ملی (National Identity card) The Iranian national identity card is compulsory for citizens and permanent residents, aged 15 and over.
 Iraq Iraq National Card
البطاقة الوطنية (Arabic)
كارتى نيشتيمانى (Kurdish)
The National Card is an electronic biometric ID card, compulsory for all Iraqi citizens starting in 2016 and costs 5,000 dinars.
 Israel Teudat Zehut
תעודת זהות‎ (Hebrew)
بطاقة هوية (Arabic)
The Teudat Zehut is first issued at age 16 and is compulsory by 18.
 Ivory Coast Carte Nationale d'Identité (CNI) National Identity Card Compulsory at the age of 15.[37]
 Jordan بطاقة شخصية (Personal card) First issued at age 16 and is compulsory by 18.
 Kazakhstan Jeke kuälık (Identity card) The identity cards have been issued since 1994 and compulsory for all citizens at age 16. Biometric since 2009.
 Kenya Kitambulisho All citizens (and permanent residents) are issued a national identification card at age 18. As at November 2023, IDs in Kenya cost about 2000 shillings (approx. $13.20). ID cards are the most common forms of identification, although passports can also be used interchangeably in most instances. As of Autumn 2019 there is a new National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) – better known as Huduma Namba, which has caused controversy.[38]
 Kiribati Identity card Mandatory national identity card was decided in Kiribati in 2018 and introduced soon after.[39][40] Age limit is 18.
 Kosovo Letërnjoftim / Лична карта (National identity card) Biometric national ID cards compulsory to all Kosovar citizens.
 Kuwait بطاقة المدني (Kuwaiti identity card) All residents of Kuwait must have a Civil ID card. The legal ascendant(s) of newborns should apply for registration of the child within 60 days after birth. An expatriate must apply for a civil ID card within 30 days of getting his residency.[41][42][43]
 Kyrgyzstan Инсандык карта (National identity card) Compulsory at 16.[44] Biometric since 2018.
 Laos ບັດປະຈຳຕົວ (identity card) There is a compulsory identity document issued in Laos. The document is issued by the police on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs and is the main form of identification on the territory of the Lao P.D.R. All Laotian are obliged by law to carry their identity cards with them at all times and are subject to fines should they not, all Laotian nationals must hold the new magnetic Identification Card. Biometric. Distribution of national ID cards started in 2015 and the card is compulsory for all national citizens aged 16 and above.
 Lebanon بطاقة هوية Lebanese identity card There is a compulsory identity document issued in Lebanon. The document is issued by the police on behalf of the Ministry of Interior and is the main form of identification on the territory of the Republic of Lebanon. All Lebanese are obliged by law to carry their identity cards with them at all times and are subject to fines should they not. As of 30 June 2006, all Lebanese nationals must hold the new magnetic Identification Card.
 Lesotho National ID card Compulsory for all national citizens. ID cards were implemented in 2013.
 Liberia National identification card New biometric national identity card have been rolled out in the late 2017.[45]
 Luxembourg Carte nationale d'identité / Personalausweis / National Identitéitskaart (National identity card) First issued at age 15 and only issued to Luxembourg citizens, who are required by law to carry it at all times.
 Macau Bilhete de Identidade de Residente (Resident Identity Card) It is compulsory for all Macau residents at the age of 5.[46]
 Madagascar Kara-panondrom-pirenena / Carte nationale d'identité de citoyen malagasy Possession is compulsory for Malagasy citizens from age 18 (by decree 78–277 (3 Oct 1978)).
 Malawi National Identification card (Chipaso cha Nzika) Biometric. Distribution of national ID cards started in 2017 and the card is compulsory for all national citizens aged 16 and above.
 Malaysia MyKad Issued at age 12, and updated at 18. MyPR for Permanent Resident. MyKas for temporary residents. Non-compulsory MyKid before age of 12. MyKad and MyPR must be carried at all times. Cards are differentiated by colour. MyKad is blue, MyPr is red and MyKas is green.
 Maldives Passport Card New biometric credit-sized passport cards replaced both driving licenses, health insurance cards and certain types of credit cards. They are compulsory for acquiring a passport book.
 Mali Carte nationale d'identité NINA (NINA National identity card) Compulsory to all Malian citizens.[47][48][49][50]
 Malta Karta tal-Identità / Identity card Issued at 14, updated at 16, compulsory at 18.
 Mauritania بطاقة الهوية الوطنية / Carte nationale d’identité (National Identity card) Compulsory at 15. Biometric since 2013, with information displayed in Arabic, French and English[51]
 Mauritius National Identity Card Every Mauritian citizen who has reached 18 years old has to apply for a National ID card, which is one of the few accepted forms of identification, including a passport.
 Moldova Buletin de identitate (Identity card) Compulsory at 16.
 Monaco Monégasque identity card Compulsory for all Monégasque citizens.
 Mongolia Монгол Улсын иргэний үнэмлэхийн хуудас (Citizen Identity Card of Mongolia) The national identity card is compulsory for all Mongol citizens. Electronic since 2012, with informations displayed both in Mongol and English.[52]
 Montenegro Lična karta (Лична карта, Identity card) Compulsory at the age of 16, but can be issued at 14 and has to be carried at all times after turning 18. It is issued only to Montenegrin citizens with permanent residence in Montenegro. While it is the most often used official identification document, three other hold the same status — Passport, Driver's licence and Refugee ID card. Old style IDs, that refer to the no longer existing states of SFR Yugoslavia or FR Yugoslavia, are not valid since 2011.
 Morocco البطاقة الوطنية للتعريف الإلكترونية / Carte nationale d'identité électronique (CNIE) / National electronic identity card The national electronic identity card is the ID of the citizens of Morocco (in Arabic : البطاقة الوطنية للتعريف الإلكترونية). This is an official document which allows any citizen to prove his identity and therefore it is valid, his Moroccan nationality. It is compulsory for all citizens aged over 16 years, but it can be obtained at all ages. The 2008 version of the card is the first to have the form of a credit card. The replacement of the 2008 version for the new 2020 version is not compulsory.

The Directorate General of National Security of Morocco announced it will issue a newer version of the national electronic identity card (NEIC) from 2020. The NEIC is biometric and provides citizens of a birth certificate, residence certificate, extract of birth and citizenship certificates.

 Mozambique Bilhete de identidade (Identity card) N/A
 Myanmar Citizenship Scrutiny Card Myanmar citizens are required to have a Citizenship Scrutiny Card.[53]
 Namibia National ID card Compulsory for all Namibia citizens. New identity cards replaced previous “SWA” IDs in 2016.
   Nepal राष्ट्रिय पहिचान कार्ड National Identity Card New biometric cards rolled out in 2018. Information displayed in both English and Nepali.[54][55]
 Niger Carte nationale d'identité (National identity card) Compulsory.[56][57]
 Nigeria National identity card Compulsory. Electronic since 2013.[58][59]
 North Korea National identity card.[60] "Identity Card", "Travel Pass" (with specified destination of travel and written permission)

North Korea is probably the country which imposes the strongest fines for citizens not carrying ID cards. For travel, North Koreans need both an identity card, and a "travel pass", with specified destination and written permission. Sometimes citizens may be punished with time in a labour camp for not carrying their cards, however this is often only a short sentence and people are usually released upon presentation of the card at a later date. Although much is not known about the properties of the card, it is probably plastic and similar in size to most European ID cards. Between 2004 and 2008, all records were transferred to an electronic Korean-language central database. Obtaining a driving license in North Korea is not usual – except in the case of professional drivers, mechanics, and assistants – since few citizens own cars. Only government officials are issued passports because the state restricts citizens travel. North Koreans working abroad are issued contracts between North Korea and the host country to allow for travel, and government officers often accompany and supervise workers.

 North Macedonia Лична карта (Identity card) Issued by the ministry of interior to citizens with permanent residence in North Macedonia. It is compulsory at the age of 18.
 Oman بطاقة الهوية الوطنية (Identity Card) Compulsory for citizens turning 15. Biometric since 2014 with information displayed in both Arabic and English.[61][62]
 Pakistan Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) and Juvenile Card Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) and SNIC issued by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The CNIC with a unique 13 digit identification number can be applied for aged 18 and above. For children under 18, NADRA provides Juvenile Card (previously known as Smart National Identity Card 'SNIC') but it is not valid for voting or polling . CNIC complies with ICAO standard 9303 and ISO standard 7816-4 and has English and Urdu translations, an integrated chip, QR code for more personal data, and more security features. The CNIC is not compulsory to carry all the time. But the card is mandatory for voting, domestic flights, opening bank accounts, for passport, driving license, firearms license and almost all substantial monetary transactions from car, land to high-value assets and to enter sensitive areas in country (courts, military controlled areas, airports police stations and private residences). However, law enforcement agencies can ask for CNIC during routine checking or after traffic violations.
 Palestine بطاقة هوية (identity card) Identification Card. First made on the age of 16, The fields in it are identical to those in ID cards issued by Israeli Civil Administration prior to the Oslo accords, fields include Full name (four names), Mother name, date of birth, birthplace, Gender, Religion, place of issuance, and issue date. in addition to an appendix that includes address, marital status, name and ID number of and listing of partner, and previous name(s), in addition to a listing of children names. The document "validity" is incubated until the Israeli authorities approve it.
 Panama Cedula de Identidad (National identity card) Cedula de Identidad. Required at 12 (cedula juvenil) and 18 years of age. Panamanian citizens must carry their Cedula at all times. New biometric national identity cards rolling out in 2019. The card must be renewed every 10 years (every 5 years for those under 18) and it can only be replaced 3 times (with each replacement costing more than the previous one) without requiring a background check, to confirm and verify that the card holder is not selling his or her identity to third parties for human trafficking or other criminal activities. All cards have QR, PDF417, and Code 128 barcodes. The QR Code holds all printed (on the front of the card) text information about the card holder, while the PDF417 barcode holds, in JPEG format encoded with Base64, an image of the fingerprint of the left index finger of the card holder. Panamanian biometric/electronic/machine readable ID cards are similar to biometric passports and current European/Czech national ID cards and have only a small PDF417 barcode, with a machine readable area, a contactless smart card RFID chip and golden contact pads similar to those found in smart card credit cards and SIM cards. The machine readable code contains all printed text information about the card holder (it replaces the QR Code) while both chips (the smart card chip is hidden under the golden contact pads) contain all personal information about the card holder along with a JPEG photo of the card holder, a JPEG photo with the card holder's signature, and another JPEG photo but with all 10 fingerprints of both hands of the card holder. Earlier cards used Code 16K and Code 49 barcodes with magnetic stripes.[63][64]
 Papua New Guinea National identity card E-National ID cards were rolled out in 2015.[65]
 Paraguay Cédula de identidad civil (Civil National Identity card) The Paraguayan national identity card is issued by the National Police and is compulsory for all citizens; with a cost of 8500 Paraguayan guaraní.
 Peru Documento Nacional de Identidad (National Identity Card) National Document of Identification or Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI). Citizens can have a minor DNI but at the age of 17 they are encouraged to renew their DNI to get an Adult DNI. At 18, it is compulsory.
 Philippines Pambansang Pagkakakilanlan (Philippine Identification Card) The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) ID also known as the Philippine identity card is issued to all Filipino citizens and resident aliens in the Philippines. The pilot implementation began in selected regions in 2018 and full implementation began in 2019.[66] The national ID card is not compulsory and will harmonize existing government-initiated identification cards issued including the Unified Multi-Purpose ID issued to members of the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund).[67] This will also replace the Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) Card for foreign residents and expatriates who are living in the Philippines permanently.
 Poland Dowód osobisty (Identity card) At 18, Polish citizens with their permanent residence in Poland must obtain Polish National Identity Card, however at 13 years of age some form of identification is required. The ID Card is issued free of charge. Those who do not comply with the relevant law are subject to restriction of freedom (community sentence) for up to one month or a fine.[68] Pre-war Polish IDs were issued on-demand. Compulsory German ID cards (Kennkarte) were introduced during the Nazi-German occupation on 1939-10-26. Compulsory Polish IDs were introduced into Polish law in 1951.[69] In many circumstances, a Polish passport may be used as an equivalent form of identification. Polish citizens without their permanent residence in Poland may obtain the card at any issuing office in Poland. Residents of Poland who are not Polish citizens may use Polish government issued residence card, instead.[70] The oldest style of IDs, paper – similar to passports, is not valid since 2008-03-31. New style IDs issued after 2001 and before 2015 to people 65 years of age or older are valid indefinitely, otherwise the document is valid for ten years or five years (when issued under 18).
 Portugal Cartão de Cidadão (Citizen card) As of 2006 the government has issued the Cartão do Cidadão (Citizen Card). The older Bilhete de identidade which has been compulsory at 10, is still in limited use. All citizens starting at the age of 6 are required to obtain an identity card, but are not required to carry them. According to other sources it is required to carry them.[71]
 Qatar Qatari ID Card As of 2014 the government has issued a Qatari ID Card to every Qatari citizen and resident over the age of 15. There are currently two types of cards in use, the smart card can be used to identify in government websites as well as for easier access to the country.
 Romania Carte de identitate (identity card) The Carte de identitate is compulsory at 14.
 Russia Internal passport of Russia A Russian identity document is issued to any citizen on request at the age of 14 and reissued at ages 20 and 45. People may use other documents for identity as well (e.g., driver's license, passport), but only in limited number of cases. Banks, post offices and authority offices require internal passport for identification.
 Rwanda Rwandan National Identity Card Compulsory for all Rwandan citizens living in the country, with a price of 1500 RWF. Valid for international travel to Kenya and Uganda.[72][73]
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines National Identity Card Compulsory.[74]
 San Marino San Marino identity card Compulsory for all Sanmarinese citizens.[75] Biometric and valid for international travel since 2016.
 São Tomé and Príncipe Bilhete de identidade (identity card) Compulsory. Issued since 2008.[76]
 Saudi Arabia بطاقة الأحوال المدنية (Bitaqat Al-Ahwal Al-Madaniya, Iqama or Bataka) Compulsory for men 17 and older and optional for teenage men aged 15–16. Optional for women but issued to women 18 and older. Compulsory for citizens, expatriates, and residents.
 Senegal Carte Nationale d'identité CEDEAO (CEDEAO National Identity card) Compulsory for all citizens. Biometric since 2017.
 Serbia Lična karta (Лична карта) (Identity card) Compulsory for citizens 16 and older permanently residing in Serbia, and compulsory for non-citizens residing in Serbia. Optional for minors 10–15. Must be carried whenever in public. Although the identity card is the most commonly used identification document, three others will suffice: a passport, driver's licence, or refugee ID card. Cards referring to the former states SFR Yugoslavia and FR Yugoslavia were eliminated by the end of 2016.
 Seychelles National Identity card Compulsory for all Seychelles citizens, with a cost of SR50.[77]
 Sierra Leone Sierra Leone identity card Compulsory for citizens and permanent residents with a price of 10,000 SLL every 5 years.[78][79]
 Singapore National Registration Identity Card Compulsory for citizens and permanent residents 15 and older and must be renewed upon turning 30 and upon turning 55 if born after January 1962. The NRIC does not need to be carried at all times, and it need not be produced to police officers who are merely screening passers-by while on patrol. But it is sometimes necessary to produce one's NRIC: for example, when renewing one's passport, voting, and applying for public services. Notably, the NRIC includes the bearer's race, among typical demographic information.[80]
 Slovakia Občiansky preukaz (citizen card) Compulsory for citizens 15 and older and is used to identify the bearer in daily interaction with authorities.[81] The citizen card includes the bearer's photograph, birth date, address, and unique number.
 Somalia Warqadda Aqoonsiga (identity card) Compulsory for all Somali citizens. Electronic since 2014.[82][83]
 South Africa South African identity card Compulsory for citizens 16 and older, and compulsory for all non-citizen permanent residents. The older form of Identity Document, in the form of a green booklet, began being phased out in 2013.[84] Although passports and driver's licences are also acceptable forms of identification, banks only accept a national identity card. Your ID has a barcode, a photo, and a unique number. Demographic information including age and gender − but not race – is included, as is the bearer's criminal record, voting history, licence to drive, right to possess a firearm, and the like. A national identity card is necessary to obtain a passport, bank account, and driver's licence, and is also necessary to register to vote. Employers will typically photocopy a visitor's identity card to process her appointment. Because it is frequently necessary to produce a national identity card, many South African permanent resident carry their card at all times.

As of January 2019, South Africans citizens born outside of South Africa, as well as permanent residents, still cannot apply for the new ID card, nor access the online services of Home Affairs.

 South Korea 주민등록증 (Identity card) Compulsory for citizens 17 and older. This card contains the citizen's unique resident registration number, which is required for government and private business, for example, opening bank accounts and creating online accounts with web sites and gaming networks.

All citizens must submit and save their 10 fingerprints to the criminal database operated by National Police Agency and right thumb fingerprint to Ministry of Interior and Safety at the time of ID card application.

 South Sudan National ID Issued to every South Sudanese of at least eighteen years of age for purposes of employment or as required by a “competent authority.”[85] South Sudan also issues a second similar document known as the 'Nationality Certificate'. This latest one is the document granted to a South Sudanese National who is eligible for national status in accordance with the provisions of Chapter III of the Nationality Act, 2011[86]
 Spain Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI; National identification document) Compulsory for anyone 14 and older. Minors younger than 14 can obtain a DNI, for example, to travel to other European countries. It is routinely used for identification and is often necessary to conduct public and private business. Many companies and government offices photocopy a bearer's DNI. Beginning in 2006, the DNI has been replaced by the DNI electrónico (electronic DNI).[87] Since 2015, the National identity card became fully biometric, releasing yet again, a new design.[88]
 Sri Lanka National Identity Card
ජාතික හැඳුනුම්පත
தேசிய அடையாள அட்டை
All citizens over the age of 16 need to apply for a National Identity Card (NIC). Each NIC has a unique 10 digit number, in the format 000000000A (where 0 is a digit and A is a letter). The first two digits of the number are your year of birth (e.g., 88xxxxxxxx for someone born in 1988). The final letter is generally a V or X. An NIC number is required to apply for a passport (over 16), driving license (over 18) and to vote (over 18). In addition, all citizens are required to carry their NIC on them at all times as proof of identity, given the security situation in the country. NICs are not issued to non-citizens, but they too are required to carry some form of photo identification (such as a photocopy of their passport or foreign driving license) at all times.[89] In addition the Department of Post may issue an identity card with a validity of five years, this may be gained in lieu of an NIC if the latter is unable to be issued.
 Sudan National identity card Compulsory for all Sudanese citizens.[90][91]
 Suriname Identiteitskaart (national identity card) Compulsory for all Surinamese citizens.[92][93]
 Syria بطاقة الهوية الوطنية (National ID card) Compulsory for all Syrian citizens. Must be uptained at the age of 14. Information displayed in Arabic only.[94]
 Taiwan National Identification Card


Compulsory for ROC nationals 14 and older whose household is registered in Taiwan.
 Tajikistan Корти миллии миллӣ (national ID card) Compulsory for all Tajik citizens. Electronic, with informations displayed in both Tajik and English since 2015.[95]
 Thailand บัตรประจำตัวประชาชน (Thai national ID card) Compulsory for citizens who are 7 – 70 years of age.[96] People older than 70 years and exempted citizen can still apply for a card. A fee of ฿100 is payable in case of loss, damage or information alteration.
 Tunisia بطاقة التعريف الوطنية (Tunisian National Identification Card) Compulsory for citizens 18 and older. A minor can obtain a national identity card with a legal ascendant(s) approval.
 Turkey Kimlik Kartı (Identity card) Compulsory from birth and must be carried at all times. A photograph is optional until the bearer turns 15. It is often photocopied at government offices, banks, and the like.[97]
 Uganda National Identity Card Compulsory for Ugandan citizens anywhere in the world, and compulsory for non-citizen permanent residents in Uganda.[98] In April–August 2014 the government registered sixteen out of eighteen million citizens.[99] In 2017 the government began a nationwide effort to register children.[99] An identity card or identity number is required for all government services, including voting, as well as many private services—for example, opening bank accounts, buying insurance policies, transferring interests in real property.[100]
 Ukraine Паспорт громадянина України (Passport of Ukrainian citizen) Compulsory for citizens 14 and older. Before 2016, the national identity card was a blue soft paper booklet like the typical international passport. In 2016, the government began issuing credit-card-sized biometric identity cards (a/k/a "internal passport" or "passport card") containing an RFID chip. The bearer's address is not printed on the card but is instead coded on the chip and can be accessed by any NFC compatible device. The card is printed in Ukrainian and English except for patronymic information that is only printed in Ukrainian. Cards last ten years before expiring, except that minors' identity cards must be renewed upon turning 18.
 United Arab Emirates بطاقة الهوية الوطنية (National ID Card) Compulsory for citizens, expatriates and residents. This is also known as Emirates ID.
 Uruguay Documento de Identidad (Idenitity document) The Identity document (previously known as "Cédula de idenitdad"), are issued to all Uruguayan citizens and legal residents, Required for children older than 45 day.

Documents for uruguayan citizens are in blue and documents for legal residents are in yellow with inscription "EXTRANJERO".

It is required for many things such as credit card transactions, age verification, etc.

 Uzbekistan Shaxs Guvohnmasi (National identity card) National identity card have officially Uzbek passports internally in 2021.[101]
 Venezuela Cédula de Identidad (Identity card) Compulsory for anyone 10 and older, and it must be renewed every 10 years.
 Vietnam Căn cước công dân (Citizen Identity Card) All citizens above 14 years old must possess a citizen identification card (latest version is an electronic ID card), provided by the local authority, and must be reissued when the citizens' years of age reach 25, 40 and 60. Formerly a people's ID document was used.
 Yemen National identity card Has an identity card. It is unclear if it is mandatory or not.
 Zambia National Registration Card Compulsory for citizens aged 16 and older. It is laminated and must be carried at all times. The national identity card for citizens is green having the last digit of 1, Blue in colour with 2 as the last digit for Commonwealth and Pink in colour with 3 as the last digit for other.
 Zimbabwe National Registration Card Compulsory for citizens 16 and older. It is plastic and must be carried at all times.

Countries with non-compulsory identity cards[edit]

These are countries where official authorities issue identity cards to those who request them, but where it is not illegal to be without an official identity document. For some services, identification is needed, but documents such as passports or identity cards issued by banks or driving licences can be used. In countries where national identity cards are fully voluntary, they are often not so commonly used, because many already have a passport and a driving licence, so a third identity document is often considered superfluous.

Country Description
 Armenia Optional.[102]
 Austria Austrian identity card
 Barbados Optional, although compulsory for voting and other government transactions.[103] New biometric national ID cards were released since June 2022.[104]
 Belize Optional, although compulsory for voting and other government transactions. Available also for any Commonwealth country citizen who has lived in Belize for a year without leaving and been at least 2 months in an area where the person has been registered in. National ID cards received a new design in 2019.[105][106][107][108]
 Cayman Islands
( United Kingdom)
Optional and not fully launched. Legislation was enacted in 2022.[109][110][111]
 Congo, Democratic Republic of the New national identity card began issuance on a limited basis on June 30th, 2023[112] under the auspices of the National Office for the Identification of the Population (ONIP), later to be fully rolled out to the wider population.[113][114] The Elector Card (Carte d'Electeur), issued by the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) served as de facto proof of identity, status as well as fulfilling the primary purpose of electoral verification processes.
 Denmark Non-national identity cards are issued by local municipalities since 2017. The ID cards do not follow EU standard for national identity cards and are not usable as travel documentation outside Denmark. (See Identity document#Denmark).
 Dominica The Dominica national multpurpose identitification card is optional for all Dominiquais nationals and is valid for international travel within OECS countries.
 Ethiopia A foundational digital ID, that focuses on a unique number (instead of a card), and this unique number, known as Fayda Identification Number is the primary identifier and essentially serves as a legal ID. The system is colloquially known as Fayda(ፋይዳ) to signify “value” in Amharic and other languages.[115]

This national digital ID system also offers real-time online and offline authentication to support eKYC. It is consent-based biometric-backed identification for all legal residents of Ethiopia (non-citizens and minors are also eligible).[116] [117]

 Fiji In 2010 and 2012,[118] there were proposals for a compulsory identity card ideas that did not progress. However, national voter's ID card (electronic since 2017) are available upon request and compulsory for certain governmental transactions (e.g.: voting).[119][120]
 Finland A national identity card exists, usable all over the EU and a number of other countries, but commonly people use their driving licences or passports as ID.

The country has had a national ID card since 1940, when it helped the Vichy authorities identify 76,000 for deportation as part of the Holocaust.

In the past, identity cards were compulsory, had to be updated each year in case of change of residence and were valid for 10 years, and their renewal required paying a fee. In addition to the face photograph, the card included the family name, first names, date and place of birth, and a unique national identity number relating to the national INSEE registry, which is also used as the national service registration number, and as the Social Security account number for health and retirement benefits.

Later,[when?] the laws were changed[citation needed] so that any official and certified document (even if expired and possibly unusable abroad) with a photograph and a name on it, issued by a public administration or enterprise (such as a rail transport card, student card, driving licence or passport) could be used as proof of identity.[121] Also, law enforcement can now accept photocopies of these documents[citation needed] when performing identity checks, provided that the original document is presented within two weeks.[citation needed] For financial transactions, any of these documents must be equally accepted as proof of identity.[citation needed]

Identity cards are still issued, but are free of charge, and not compulsory. Legislation has been published for a proposed compulsory biometric card system, which has been widely criticised, among others by the "National commission for computing and liberties" (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés, CNIL), the national authority and regulator on computing systems and databases. Identity cards issued since 2004 include basic biometric information (a digitized fingerprint record, a printed digital photograph and a scanned signature) and various anti-fraud systems embedded within the laminated card.

The French health insurance card, a smart card named "Carte Vitale 2", includes a digital photograph and other personal medical information in addition to identity elements. The previous version included a chip and a magnetic stripe, but contained very little information.

French authorities have extensive powers to verify identification as such French nationals and residents tend to carry identification with them at all times to verify identity if under inspection.

 Germany Compulsory for all German citizens aged 16 or older to possess either a "Personalausweis" (identity card) or a passport, but not to carry it. While police officers and some other officials have a right to demand to see one of those documents, the law does not state that one is obliged to submit the document immediately. Fines may only be applied if an identity card or passport is not possessed at all, if the document is expired or if one explicitly refuses to show ID to the police. If one is unable to produce an ID card or passport (or any other form of credible identification) during a police control, one can (in theory) be brought to the next police post and detained for a maximum of 12 hours, or until positive identification is possible. However, this measure is only applied if the police have reasonable grounds to believe the person detained has committed an offence.

As driving licences are not legally accepted forms of identification in Germany, most persons carry their "Personalausweis" with them.[122] more

( United Kingdom)

The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar has a voluntary ID card system for citizens, valid in the UK and EU/European Free Trade Association member countries.

 Grenada The Grenada Voter ID card is optional, although compulsory for certain governmental transactions.[123]
 Hungary See[124] (in Hungarian) It is compulsory to possess an Személyi igazolvány (Identity card) or passport from the age of 14. A driving license can be also used for identification from the age of 17. Private entities however, are legally required to accept passport or driver's licence for proof, but often do not accept them, only the ID card, thus in effect almost all citizens have the ID card.

Police has the legal power to stop people on streets at random and ask for ID card. If the person has no proof for identification one can be detained for maximum 24 hours.

 Iceland Registers Iceland (Þjóðskrá) voluntarily issues Icelandic national identity cards (Nafnskírteini) to citizens aged 14 or over. The Icelandic government does not certify the ID as a travel document and does not meet EU minimum security standards, therefore they are not usable outside the Nordic passport union.[125] This is due to change in December 2023 with an updated design, allowing their use as a travel document in the EU/EEA.[126] The IDs are uncommon and most people use driving licences or passports.
 India An Aadhaar number is a digital biometric identity issued voluntarily to residents of India, it can also be issued in card form, but it is not compulsory either. Proof of identity such as a passport, Aadhaar, ration card, PAN card, or driving licence is mandatory for issuing essentials such as electricity, water, mobile phone SIM cards, etc. Those without proof of identity can often not obtain such basics.[127] The Supreme Court of India in 2018 ruled that although the UIDAI (Unique Identification Development Authority of India) Act is constitutionally valid, the possession of Aadhar cannot be made a prerequisite for services like opening and operation of bank accounts, admissions in educational institutions or availing of mobile connections.[128] However it remains mandatory for obtaining PAN cards (including continuance of the validity thereof) and filing of tax returns.[129]
 Ireland The Irish passport card is usable for a national identification and travel within most of Europe (including countries like Georgia and Moldova). Most people prefer the more traditional documents[citation needed], the driver's licence since it is needed for driving, and the passport for travel. A Public Services Card was introduced in recent years to access Department of Social Protection services.
 Italy The Italian electronic identity card may be issued to anyone who is resident in Italy and to Italian citizens living abroad. A card issued to an Italian citizen is accepted in lieu of a passport in all Europe (except in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) and in Turkey, Georgia, Egypt and Tunisia. It is not compulsory to have it or to carry it, unless expressly ordered by public security authorities. The fact that many people in Italy still carry the old paper-based form of ID (issued until 2018), often causes delays at the border controls due to the lack of security and of a machine readable zone.
 Jamaica Optional, although compulsory for voting and other government transactions.[130] Since 2022 a brand new biometric National ID Card has been unveiled, free of charge for Jamaican citizens.[131][132]
 Japan An Individual Number Card is issued to citizens of Japan as well as legal residents. It was introducted in 2016 and replaces the Juki-Card.
 Latvia A Personas apliecība (identity card) is issued. An ID or passport is mandatory for a citizen of Latvia or a non-citizen who lives in Latvia and has reached 18.[133]

The Principality of Liechtenstein has a voluntary ID card system for citizens, the Identitätskarte.

 Lithuania Asmens tapatybės kortelė (Identity Card). A passport or Identity Card is compulsory at age 16.
 Mexico The National Electorate Institute (Instituto Nacional Electoral, INE) issues Voting cards (credencial para votar) to Mexican citizens over 18 years of age. This card is required to participate in Federal level elections and while it is the de facto ID for most legal transactions, it is not mandatory to have one. Mexican minors, between the ages of four and 17, were able to get a personal ID card named cédula de identidad personal, but the government stopped issuing it in 2013. Both documents can be used to demonstrate Mexican nationality and thus enter Mexico from abroad, be it by air, sea or land.
 Micronesia National Identity cards, called “FSM Voters National Identity card”, are issued on an optional base, free of charge. The Identity Cards were introduced in 2005.[134]

Identiteitskaart (Identity card) Although it is not compulsory to get an identity card, since 1 January 2005 it is compulsory to show identification, when an authorized officer asks for it, from the age of 14. An authorized officer can only do so under certain circumstances. Such circumstances include suspicious behaviour, committing any offence, or if a person is interviewed as a witness of a crime. Identity checks at events where the public order may be in danger are also allowed. Otherwise random identity checks by the police are not allowed in principle but can happen in certain areas such as a train station or suspicious areas such as where prostitution is rife, and a fine for not showing proof of identity may be successfully challenged in such cases. The fine for not being able to show proof of identity when legally required is €60 (16 and over) or €30 (if 14 or 15). Proof of identity is also required when opening a bank account and when entering an employment contract.[135]

 Norway The Norwegian identity card has been issued since 30 November 2020.[136] Norway decided in 2007 to introduce a voluntary national identity card, to be usable for travel to EEA countries, but they were delayed[137][138][139] until 30 November 2020.[136][140] The reason for the delay is that the responsible authorities require absolute security on both the cards and the validation of the identity at issuance, issuing new security requirements repeatedly.

Private identity cards also exist. Bank issued debit cards have had a photo of the holder on the back since the 1980s. The banks have stated that they no longer intend to issue photos on their debit and credit cards, as they think ID-cards should be a public service. This requires people who do not have a driving licence to bring their passport in many situations.

 Palau Republic of Palau Identification Cards are primarily issued to foreign nationals whom are not eligible to acquire a Palau passport or driver's license, under the Digital Residency Act. Foreign nationals are required to undergo a sanctions check.
 Saint Kitts and Nevis National Identity Cards are optional. Issued since 2010.[141]
 Saint Lucia Passport or Identity Card is compulsory for all Saint Lucian citizens.
 Slovenia Osebna izkaznica (identity card) is issued for citizens 18 and older who have a permanent residence in Slovenia who do not have a passport.[142] Citizens younger than 18 may obtain an identity card with their legal ascendant(s) permission. It must be carried at all times.
 Solomon Islands National Voter's Identity Cards are optional upon request.[143][144]

Having an identity card in Sweden is not mandatory, but it is needed in several situations, e.g. for bank services or when picking up a package at a post office.
Sweden has since 2005 issued EU standard national identity cards, but they are not compulsory and only obtainable by Swedish citizens,[145] mostly intended to use for intra-Schengen area travel. The Swedish tax authority does since 2009 issue official identity cards for anyone resident in Sweden. Driver's licenses is the most commonly used identity document in Sweden. Between 2005 and 2009 it was almost impossible for immigrants to get a card because of tightened security to get a bank card, since a close family member having a Swedish identity document had to vouch the identity. Not having an ID card in combination with a crime giving a fine (e.g. riding public transport without a ticket), is a suspicion to escape it, which is a reason for detainment in Sweden.


The Swiss identity card is issued to any citizen. It is not mandatory to carry, but it or a passport is needed in some situations. Driver's licenses are not always valid as identity document as they don't expire and can be old.

 Tanzania Optional, although needed for certain civil (SIM cards) and government transactions.[146]
 Togo Optional to all Togolese nationals.[147]
 Tonga Tonga's National ID Card was first issued in 2010, and it is optional, along with the driver's licenses and passports. Either one of these are mandatory for to vote though. Applicants need to be 14 years of age or older to apply for a National ID Card.[148]
 Trinidad and Tobago The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is responsible for the issuing of National Identification Cards. A National Identification (ID) Card is issued to a citizen or eligible resident when they register to vote. The National ID Card is an electoral document used as proof of identity when voting. It is also accepted as a primary form of identification within Trinidad and Tobago, and can be obtained before voting age. Eligible for the card are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago of 15 years of age or older, and Commonwealth citizens 15 years of age or older who have resided legally in Trinidad and Tobago for at least one year immediately preceding the application. The National ID Card is valid for 10 years.[149] It is not, however, mandatory when voting; other forms if ID, including passport or driver's permit, can be presented.
 Turkmenistan An internal passport (Turkmen: içerki pasport), officially called a citizenship passport (Turkmen: raýatlyk pasporty) is issued to Turkmen citizens.[150]
 United States The U.S. passport card is issued by the federal government via the Department of State upon voluntary request. The primary purpose of the passport card is used as a Federal issued Identity card and a limited travel document under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for travel by land and sea, similar to the usage of national identity cards in the Schengen Area. However, passport cards are also conclusive proof of U.S. citizenship under federal law, accepted for domestic airline travel under the REAL ID Act,[151] a List A document for Form I-9 purposes,[152] and generally proof of identity/citizenship both inside and outside the United States.[153] Despite this, the predominant and de facto method of identification remains the driver's license (or non-driver ID card) issued by each state, because driver's license is needed for driving, although these generally do not indicate citizenship or nationality.

In many US states a valid ID is required for voting purposes only. It can be various different types of ID including a US Passport Card or Passport Book.

In the past, compulsory ID cards or something compulsory resembling ID cards have existed, such as internal passports for freed African Americans before the abolition of slavery, and the draft cards for men (during times when men were conscripted into the army). In some states, there is a Stop and identify statute meaning that an identity card (or driver's license or other photo ID) can be demanded. There is, however, no obligation to carry or own an identification card.

However, the US Immigration and Nationality Act requires non-citizen permanent residents to carry their Permanent Resident Card or "Green Card" with them at all times as proof of identity and legal status. In addition, under the REAL ID Act, those obtaining such an ID in order to board a commercial aircraft or enter a secure facility must present proof of legal status to obtain such an ID.

The US uses the Social Security card as the de facto national ID number of the country.

 Vanuatu National Identity Cards are being issued since October 2017. Plans for rolling out biometric cards were due for the late 2018.[154][155]
  Vatican City

The Vatican City issues identity cards for its citizens (such as the Pope), for main identification.[156] It is unclear if it is compulsory or not. Valid in Schengen Area.

Countries with no identity cards[edit]

These are countries where official authorities do not issue any identity cards. When identification is needed, e.g. passports, identity cards issued by banks etc., or cards that are not mainly identity cards like driver's licenses can be used. Most countries that are not listed at all in this page have no national ID card.

Country Description
 Andorra No national identity card in the principality. Passports and driving licenses are most commonly used for identification.[157] When visiting France or Spain a passport is needed in lack of a national identity card, although driving licenses are often used and accepted unofficially.
 Australia Most commonly accepted forms of identification today across Australia are driver licences or photo cards issued by state or territory governments, also medicare cards and Australian passports issued by the federal government. For overseas visitors, a foreign passport with a valid visa.

In 1985, there was a failed proposal to create an Australia Card. In 2006 the Australian Government announced the introduction of a non-compulsory Access Card that would act as a gateway to services administered by The Department of Human Services. This project, however, was terminated in November 2007.

 Bahamas No national identity card. Plans for introducing new identity cards were established in 2013, however no progress has been made so far.[158] In 2022, the government announced ID cards would be rolled out in 2023.[159]
 Canada In the past, Canadian citizenship cards were issued to new Canadians upon naturalization and established Canadians (upon request). As of 2012 these cards have been discontinued, and there is no national identity card or equivalent. Driver's licenses issued by the provinces are the primary form of identification. All provinces and territories except Quebec also issue separate photo identification cards for non-drivers. Health cards (issued by the provinces) and passports (issued by the Canadian federal government) are used as supplemental or alternative identification.
 Libya No national identity card, however no precise information is found regarding identity documents in the State of Libya.
 Marshall Islands No national identity card in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
 Nauru No national identity card.
 New Zealand No national identity card. Acceptable types of identification for proof of identification may include passports, firearms licences, driving licences, 18+ cards or the new 'Kiwi Access' cards (issued by Hospitality NZ), a SuperGold (senior citizen's) card, birth certificates or a citizenship certificate.
 Samoa No national identity card, however the Samoan government is planning to introduce national ID cards in the near future.[160]
 Tuvalu No national identity card.
 United Kingdom Identity cards were introduced on a limited voluntary basis in 2009 under the Identity Cards Act 2006. They were planned to be compulsory for certain foreign nationals as well as employees high-security jobs (e.g. airport workers). Before most people were eligible, the scheme was abolished by the Identity Documents Act 2010 after low public support and a change of government, with no compensation for those who had paid for them.[161] When a formal identity document is needed, a passport or a driving licence is most often used. For those who do not have—or wish to carry—a passport or driving licence, the UK Government backs the Proof of Age Standards Scheme, which allows private companies to issue identity cards to UK residents, primarily to enable young people to prove age in the purchase of age-restricted goods and services.
 Western Sahara No national identity card, however no precise information is found regarding identity documents. Only minor parts of the country is controlled by a local government. Major parts of Western Sahara is controlled by Morocco which treats the area as an integral part. Morocco has a mandatory national identity card.

See also[edit]


  • As noted above, certain countries do not have national ID cards, but have other official documents that play the same role in practice (e.g. driver's license for the United States). While a country may not make it de jure compulsory to own or carry an identity document, it may be de facto strongly recommended to do so in order to facilitate certain procedures.
  • In most countries, non-resident foreign citizens have to be able to identify themselves through a passport. For residents with "foreign" characteristics (e.g. skin color, dialect) possession of an acceptable identity card might be useful to reduce the risk of harassment from the police and other authorities.
  • In many countries, people suspected of crime will be detained until their identity is proven even in countries not requiring an identity card.


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