The National Identity Card (CNIS)

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 or 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:

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 several months to receive an ID card, longer than for a passport.

What is the procedure to collect my ID card?

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.

Children under 18 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.

You don’t need an appointment to collect your ID card, but we strongly advise you to come in the afternoon:
- Monday to Thursday: 9.00am to 4.45pm
- Friday: 9.00am to 3pm

Theft/loss of your ID card

Published on 06/12/2016

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