Swiss identity card

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Swiss identity card
Issued by   Switzerland
Valid in  Europe (except Belarus, Kosovo, North Cyprus, Russia and Ukraine)
Type of document Identity card,
optional replacement for passport (see above)

The Swiss identity card in its current form dates back to July 1994. It is in the form of a plastic photocard. It can be used as a travel document when travelling in Europe (except for Belarus, Kosovo, Russia and Ukraine) as well as Turkey.


The Swiss identity card was blue and first introduced in 1955 when the European travel was starting to be more prevalent and after World War II. The Swiss confederation also wanted to make it easier for Swiss citizens to identify themselves within everyday business operations like picking up parcels or registered mail from the post offices at the time.

The Swiss identity card was then modified in 1977 and it changed its colour to a more green/brown colour.

Both the 1955 and 1977 series of Swiss identity cards were in a booklet format with the outer page on the 1955 ID card with the coat of arms of Switzerland, and then the wording in the three official languages of Switzerland: German, French and Italian.

When the 1977 version of the Swiss identity card was issued, the first period also had the documents printed in German, French and Italian. Later on, the Romansh language became a national Swiss Language with the referendum of the Swiss voters on March 6, 1996 and later on in the new 1999 Swiss Constitution.


It is planned to introduce a new identity card by the end of 2016. This will then be available in four versions — the applicant can choose which version he or she wants: a basic version without electronically stored data, a version with electronically stored biometric data (photo and two fingerprints), a version with electronically stored credentials for e-government and e-business, and a fourth version which is a combination of the second and third versions.

The biometric version of the card will enable travel to Kosovo without a passport

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