Online  identification

Government services available to more citizens

German citizens can already use the electronic identification function offered by their ID card to identify themselves online. The group of beneficiaries is now to be extended to embrace EU citizens and German citizens living outside the country. The decision was taken at today’s Cabinet meeting.

The ID card’s electronic identification (eID) function, which is recognised throughout Europe, already allows holders to identify and authenticate themselves online.

Group of users to be extended

This eID function is not, however, currently available to all. EU citizens and German citizens living outside Germany do not currently have access. The German government is now to change this. The eID card is to be introduced on a voluntary basis. The eID is not an identity card in its own right. It is simply a smartcard on which the most important identification data are stored (name, date of birth and address).

No need to visit government offices

This will allow people to use major German e-government services, using a card they can trust. The system also works with a smartphone. The eID function allows holders to provide proof of identity online, simply and securely. That is important, for instance, when applying for a police certificate or submitting a tax return online. People will no longer have to physically visit government offices.

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