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Apply for an identity card

Any person of any age with German citizenship can apply for an identity card.
The identity card becomes invalid before the expiry of the registered period of validity if

  • Entries become incorrect, or
  • the photograph is no longer clearly suitable for identification. This can be the case in particular with ID cards for infants or toddlers.

There is one exception: changing the address does not invalidate.

The EU logo on the front of the identity card, which will be introduced from 2 August 2021, will not cause ID cards without this logo to become invalid.

The validity period 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.

A temporary identity card is valid for a maximum of 3 months.

You can submit the application to your identity card authority at your main residence, which is usually the Bürgeramt. Applications to any other identity card authority are possible if an important reason is explained. This incurs a lack of responsibility surcharge, which means that the costs for your new identity card are higher.

Process flow

You can apply for an identity card at the Bürgeramt at your place of residence, in the case of 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 in advance, you can find out whether and to what extent the Bürgeramt acknowledges your reason.

  • At many citizens' offices, you can make an appointment online, by e-mail or by telephone. You can find out what options your Citizens' Office offers, for example, on its website.
  • Your Citizens' Office will inform you when you apply when you can pick up your identity card.
  • Your identity card is produced centrally by Bundesdruckerei in Berlin.
  • 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 Citizens' Office offers, for example, on its website.

Requirements

The IDENTIFICATION requirement applies to you if you

  • have German nationality,
  • have reached the age of 16 and
  • are registered in Germany.

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?

  • Identity card, valid passport or children's passport or birth certificate
  • for children under 16 years of age: declaration of consent of the legal guardian
    • in the case of only one legal guardian, additional proof of custody
  • Biometric passport photo

What are the fees?

  • EUR 37.00 for applicants aged 24 and over
  • EUR 22.80 for applicants under the age of 24
  • EUR 10.00 for the temporary identity card
  • EUR 13.00 surcharge for applications outside working hours or in the case of a non-responsible authority
  • EUR 30.00 surcharge for application to any citizens' office 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, you must apply for an identity card. Exception: You have a valid passport document, i.e. passport, children's 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.

Processing duration

From the time of application, it usually takes at least 2 weeks until you can pick up your identity card at the Bürgeramt.

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport

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

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.