Apply for an identity card
As a person with German citizenship, you can have an identity card issued. If you are at least 16 years old and do not have a valid passport, you must apply for an identity card.
The validity period of your identity card depends on your age at the time of application:
- Application under 24 years: Identity card is valid for 6 years.
- Application from 24 years: Identity card is valid for 10 years.
Your identity card expires before the expiry of the registered period of validity if:
- entries no longer apply, or
- Your photograph is no longer clearly suitable for identification. This may be the case in particular with ID cards for infants or toddlers.
There is one exception: changing your address or size will not invalidate you.
You also have the option of applying for a temporary identity card. This is valid for a maximum of 3 months.
The EU logo on the front of the identity card, introduced from 2 August 2021, does not invalidate ID cards without this logo.
You can submit the application to your identity card office at your main residence, which is usually the Bürgeramt.
If there is an important reason, you can also apply for your identity card at another identity card authority. This may result in additional costs as the incompetent authority has an increased administrative burden (it must obtain authorisation from the competent authority).
- You can apply for an identity card at the Bürgeramt at your place of residence, or if there are several residences at your main residence.
- You can also apply for your identity card at any other citizens' office. But you need an important reason for this.
- If you contact the Bürgeramt you have selected beforehand, you can find out whether and to what extent the Bürgeramt recognises your reason.
- As a rule, you make an appointment for the application.
- At many citizens' offices, you can make an appointment online, by e-mail or by phone. You can find out what options your Bürgeramt offers, for example, on its website.
- When applying, your citizens' registration office will inform you when you can pick up your identity card.
- Your identity card is produced centrally by the ID card manufacturer.
- You can pick up your identity card at your Citizens' Registration Office. At many citizens' offices, you can arrange a pick-up appointment online, by e-mail or by telephone. You can find out what options your Bürgeramt offers, for example, on its website. For the collection, you can authorize another adult person in writing. For a sample power of attorney, please inquire on the website of your Bürgeramt.
Who should I contact?
The responsibility lies with the municipality, the Joint Community and the city in which the main residence is located.
- You have German citizenship
For applications outside your main residence:
- You must be able to explain an important reason why you do not apply for the identity card at the identity card authority at your main residence.
Which documents are required?
- Proof of identity, for example
- old identity card,
- valid passport or children's passport
- Birth certificate, if applicable
- current biometric photograph
- if necessary. Certificate with current name, for example
- birth, marriage, marriage certificate,
- Family book
- Explanation of naming
- for children under 16 years of age: declaration of consent of the legal guardian
- in the case of only one legal guardian, the additional proof of custody
What are the fees?
- EUR 37.00 for applicants aged 24 and over
- EUR 22.80 for applicants under 24 years of age
- EUR 10.00 for the temporary identity card
- EUR 13.00 surcharge for applications outside working hours or for non-competent authorities
- EUR 30.00 surcharge for application at any Bürgeramt by Germans residing abroad
Fee reduction or exemption is possible for those in need. This is at the discretion of the identity card authority.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
At the latest when you turn 16 years old, you must apply for an identity card. Exception: You have a valid passport document, i.e. passport or temporary passport.
If you are over 16 years old, you must apply for a new ID card at the latest when the old identity card expires. Exception: You have a valid passport document.
It usually takes at least 2 weeks from the date of application until you can pick up your identity card at the Bürgeramt.
Applications / forms
Forms available: No.
Written form required: Yes.
Informal application possible: Yes.
Personal appearance required: Yes.
Online services available: No.
Complaints or objections against decisions of the identity card authority can be submitted to the superior authority or the State Ministry of the Interior. Moreover, the administrative courts would be relevant.
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport