Identity card gets a new look – what you need to know about the change

From August 2nd, Bundesdruckerei will issue the new identity card. Anyone who still has a valid ID can continue to use it until it expires.

What changes can I see on the identity card?


On the front, the flag of the European Union is now shown at the top left. The country code “DE” can be found in it. This part is no longer black, but blue. The ID card number can still be found on the right-hand side. This is followed by the photo on the left and then information such as surname, first name, date of birth and nationality, the place of birth and finally information on the expiry date and a six-digit code. The signature is on the bottom page.

What is new is that the identity card now completely dispenses with the note “Signature of the owner / Signature of bearer / Signature de la titulaire, du titulaire”.


The back shows the color of the eyes, height in centimeters, date of issue, the issuing authority and the address. The personalized security thread is now supplemented by a version number and continues to separate the laser-engraved information from the machine-readable line part. The country of issue, serial number, date of birth, validity date, nationality, name and check digits are shown and separated from each other in machine-readable form using the less than symbol.

The identity card has a total of two dozen security features that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

PUSH – overview for tourists – vacation in Germany: which federal states open when the hotels – and who is allowed in

Why do I have to have my fingerprints saved now?

From August 2nd, two fingerprints will be stored in the chip of the identity card in addition to the photo. Until now, German citizens were free to decide whether they wanted to add this security feature to their identity card – now it is mandatory.

“The biometric data are used to reliably establish the identity of a person who identifies himself during a sovereign inspection. If, after comparing the photo on the identity card with the person, there are doubts about their identity, the security authorities of the EU member states can read out and compare the fingerprints stored in the chip, ”explains the responsible Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs. This would enable fraud attempts to be detected more quickly.

Does this mean that the ID card costs more?

The issuance of the new identity card continues to cost 37 euros for citizens of Germany over the age of 24. Adolescents and younger adults pay 22.80 euros. The exhibition lasts between 12 and 21 days, depending on the authority and municipality. The document is still valid for ten years after it was issued.

Why is the identity card changing?

This is due to a regulation of the European Union from 2019. It provides for a uniform look for identity documents within the Union. This should make it easier for authorities to identify people.

Authorities point out: passports for children with a shorter expiry date

Given the vacation time, many parents have surprisingly found that the validity of passports for children up to 6 years of age has been reduced to one year. So far, the child pass was valid for six years.

As stated in an information letter in FOCUS Online, this regulation has been in effect since January 1, 2021. Children’s passports that have already been issued retain their registered validity. Since the beginning of the year, the extension stickers for children’s passports have only been issued with a maximum validity of one year. The extension by one year is possible several times. By the way! The old green, folded children’s ID cards no longer exist at the beginning of the year.

The first issue of the children’s passport costs 13 euros, and the extension costs 6 euros.

In the video: