Information about the electronic German ID Card


The German ID card containing a contactless electronic chip is a multi-function card the size of a credit card. The applicant’s photo is saved on the chip. This biometric data may only be read by official agencies (e.g. border officials, police).

The cardholder may also activate the electronic ID function and thus use the qualified electronic signature function.

Please read the information concerning the “online ID” before applying for your card. You can find it here.

The online ID function can be activated or deactivated at any time during your ID card’s validity at the passport/identity card office at the Embassy, the Consulate General, or any other identity card agency.

You must also come in person if you are applying for changes to an existing ID card which require your PIN code to be entered. These include applications for a new PIN (including the replacement of the initial “transport PIN”), activating the online ID function and unlocking an ID card.

Your PIN

All applicants aged over 15 years and 9 months at the time of application will receive a letter from the Bundesdruckerei containing their personal identification number (PIN), personal unlocking key (PUK) and the password to be used to lock or unlock the card. You will receive this letter even if you do not want to use the online ID function, and should keep it in a safe place.

If you are no longer registered in Germany and live in the UK you can ask to have your PIN letter sent directly to your UK address.

If you have not received a PIN letter, you are entitled to insist that a new ID card is issued.

Lost or stolen ID Cards

If your ID card was stolen or lost, and the electronic online ID function is switched on you will have to cancel this ID card immediately, so your identity cannot be misused on the internet.

To cancel your ID card, please call the following hotline (24 hours, can also be phoned from abroad, fees apply):

Phone: 0049 180-1-33 33 33

To cancel you will need your name, date of birth and your cancellation password (Sperrkennwort).

Please report your lost or stolen ID card additionally to the issuing authority.

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