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German citizens who have reached the age of 16 are obliged to have a valid identity card if the obligation to show id cannot be fulfilled by holding a valid passport and if they are subject to the general registration requirement in Germany. Are. They shall present the identity card at the request of an authority authorised to verify the personal data (e.g. police, reporting authority, border crossing point) and hand them over for examination.

There is no obligation to carry the ID card with you all the time.

The identity card is equipped with additional security features and functionalities, which offer numerous applications, especially on the Internet. The (voluntary) additional functions are for your own safety. These can be activated or deactivated on request.


  • electronic proof of identity (eID function)
    • e.g. for identification on the Internet or as proof of age at cigarette vending machines
  • electronic signature
    • is equivalent to the normal signature and enables the digital signature of digital documents, e.g. in the context of administrative procedures
  • two digital fingerprints
    • Only the authorities authorised by the State to do so have access to this biometric area, e.g. officials at border controls. In the context of electronic identity verification, biometric data cannot be accessed

The following data is visible on the ID card and stored in the chip:

  • Surname
  • Maiden name
  • First
  • Doctorate
  • Day and place of birth
  • Photo (can be retrieved from the chip by authorities)
  • Address
  • Nationality
  • Religious names
  • Artist's name

Since 1 November 2010, the identity card in cheque card format replaces the previous identity card. The previous one can be used until the expiry of its individually determined validity.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

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