The National Identity Card

What is a national identity card? Where can I request it ?

The national identity card is an official document issued by the French Administration, by the consulate/embassy when you live abroad. It proves your identity and your nationality. It is a very secure document with personal information that protects it from fraud. The national ID card is free and valid for 10 years.

Can I travel with my ID card ?

Even though you can travel in numerous countries with the ID card, it is not really a permit to travel. However you can use it to travel within the EU, and to some other countries as well. Check the website for the French Foreign Office:

From the 1st of October 2021, you can no longer use your ID card to travel to the United Kingdom, unless you have a resident status in the UK (pre-settled, settled, leave to remain). In the latter case, the ID card will remain valid for travelling to the UK until 2025.

We recommend that you link your resident status with your ID card if you want travel with this document :

Under 18s travelling with their ID card without their parents or legal guardian must have an authorisation to leave the country. The consulate delivers this authorisation.

How long does it take to have an ID card ?

It takes three to four weeks from the time of the application to receive an ID card.

What is the procedure to collect my ID card?

You can come and collect your ID card once you received the text message informing you it has been recived at the consulate

The applicant must come in person to collect his/her ID card, and must return the previous one as it belongs to the French State.

National identity card already issued can be collected at the Consulate of France without appointement (Monday to Thursday 9am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4.30pm and Friday 9am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 3pm) or at a Honorary Consul if you had specified it during the application.

Click here for the list of honorary consuls

It is legally impossible to send the document by post mail or to hand it over to somebody else, even with a power of attorney

Minors under 12 don’t need to come in person, but parents or legal guardian must bring their family book or any documentation proving the parental authority.

If you have not collected your ID card within 3 months of the “ready” date (click here to know if it is ready to collect), it will be destroyed.

What to do if my ID card is lost/stolen ?

You must go the local police station to report it before you come to the consulate. There you will be given a “crime number”. You must then go to the consulate as soon as you can, and follow the procedure to renew your documents.

You need to go the consulate to report the loss, where you will be given a statement that will allow you to renew your documents.

Published on 27/09/2021

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