France’s New National Identity Card 

March 2021

For the past three years, France has undertaken a process of modernising the national identity card, which was last updated in 1995. Now it’s time for the roll-out.

According to the news briefing given on the website of the Ministère de l´Intérieur, the new identity card is more secure, more practical and its design has been modernised from the previous format that was introduced in 1995. One of the main aims of the update is to renew efforts to fight identity fraud.

The new card will be rolled out gradually. The roll out started on 15 March in the Oise department, then from 29 March, in Seine-Maritime and Reunion. The system will cover the whole of France by 2 August.

The desire for modernisation is in line with the application of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of Europe, which obliges member states to put into circulation new identity cards that comply with the provisions of this regulation no later than 2 August 2021. 

The main use of the card remains unchanged, allowing the holder to prove their identity. It can also be used as a travel document in some EU and non-EU states which accept the national ID card in the same way as a passport.

A new, more secure, more practical card with a modernised design

The new card is ID-1 format, the size of a bank card, like a driver’s licence, for example.

In addition to the security rules imposed by the European regulation, the ministry wanted to add a certain number of devices to better protect the new identity card. Their objective is to ensure optimal protection of the personal data held on the card.

Particular attention has been paid to the biometric data contained in the electronic component of the document, which are stored in a highly secure compartment and access to which is specifically controlled.

The card contains several innovations including secure transparent edges with optical control, a holographic device that protects the cardholder’s photograph and an engraved chip. 

Conditions of renewal, issuance and validity

From 2 August, any user wishing to be issued with or renew a national identity card will receive the new card.

The reasons for issuing a card remain unchanged: first issuance of a card, renewal of a card that expires within six months, renewal following loss or theft, renewal for change of marital status or change of address.

The current procedure for obtaining a national ID card will not be changed. The delivery time varies depending on the type of application and ranges from 7-21 days on average.

The validity of the new document is 10 years.

For more information, visit

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  • Proof of Health Status White Paper Puts Emphasis on What is Feasible
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