Personalausweis: Cost of German ID card set to rise

Getting an ID card in Germany is set to become more expensive from next year under government plans.

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For the first time in a decade, the fee for applying to get a new ID card (Personalausweis) in Germany is rising – by nearly 30 percent.

Instead of €28.80, the identity card will cost €37 from next year under the proposal.

The Interior Ministry confirmed that a draft law to this effect is to pass through the cabinet as early as Wednesday.

As a rule, people aged 24 and over must apply for a new identity card every 10 years.

The fee increase, which still has to be approved by the Bundesrat, is justified by increased staff and material costs in local authorities.

In return, however, no additional costs are to be incurred for the subsequent activation of online functions or the unblocking of the electronic proof of identity. Up until now, €6 has been charged for each of these costs.

Applicants who are under 24 pay €22.80 for an ID card according to the current fee table. However, the document is only valid for six years. People who can’t afford the costs can apply for a fee reduction or exemption.

All German nationals up to the age of 16 have to apply for a personal identity card. Children and younger people can get an ID card without the electronic function.

According to German law it’s compulsory for everyone in Germany aged 16 or older to possess either an identity card or passport.

Police or other officials have a right to demand to see one of these documents but German law does not say that you have to submit the document at the moment you are asked to.

German citizens travelling inside most countries in Europe can use their ID card instead of a passport to travel.

What about non-Germans living permanently in Germany?

Since September 1st 2011, foreigners living permanently in Germany can be issued with the electronic residence permit (eAT) to identify themselves. This procedure applies to all EU member states.

The eAT identification document card is created in Germany and has a contactless chip inside the card, on which it is possible to use the eID function.

Tourists, EU citizens, people from abroad who are visiting Germany for a temporary period also need a passport to identify themselves.

EU citizens within the Schengen Agreement (Schengen States) can cross the internal borders of EU member states at any point without any checks but you are also obliged to carry a passport.

Vocabulary

ID card – (der) Personalausweis or Ausweis

Become more expensive – teurer werden

Fee increase – (die) Gebührenerhöhung

Electronic residence permit – (der) elektronische Aufenthaltstitel

Source: The Local

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