Should we cancel the 16th amendment

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German citizens aged 16 and over are required to have a valid identity card or passport. However, you are not required to have your ID with you at all times.

Young people under the age of 16 can apply for an identity card. German citizens who do not live in Germany can also be issued with an identity card upon request.

The new identity card has the size of a credit card. It can be used in the same way as before.

In addition, your photo and, if you wish, your fingerprints are stored in the ID chip (biometric function). Photos and fingerprints are only accessible to government agencies such as the police, border guards.

The chip also offers two other new functions that you can use voluntarily:

  • the electronic proof of identity (eID function) and
  • the signature / signature function

Tip: All important information about the new identity card can be found in the brochure "Everything you need to know about the new identity card" and on the information pages "The new identity card" of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Validity period

The period of validity depends on your age:

  • under 24 years: ID card is valid for six years.
  • from 24 years: ID card is valid for ten years.

All old identity cards remain valid until their expiry date (unless they become invalid due to incorrect entries). An early exchange of the old identity card is possible at any time.

An identity card is already invalid before the expiry of the period of validity if

  • he or she does not allow a proper identification of the owner or
  • he has been changed or
  • Entries are missing or incorrect (with the exception of information about address or size)

Tip: If you need an identification document for the time up to the issue of the new identity card, you can apply for a temporary identity card at the same time. The provisional identity card is valid for a maximum of three months. You must return it when you receive your new ID card.