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The online ID card function

What is it exactly?

The online ID card function provides new features for the electronic residence title. This proof of identity allows users to identify themselves securely and unambiguously on the Internet or at vending machines. It's a way of saying "Here I am".

If you decide to use the online ID card function, you can prove your identity in electronic communications with the electronic residence title. You can also prove your identity electronically without actually being present wherever services are offered to specific individuals. Such services may be online services offered by private companies, such as online shops, banks, e-mail providers or social networks. But administrative providers such as the vehicle registration office can also use the functionalities of the electronic residence title in the context of e-government services.

Where can I use the online ID card function?

Logo the online identity function

The online ID card function can only be used with providers which actually offer electronic identification in their services. Not all Internet-based services were automatically adapted to the new procedure when the electronic residence title was launched. Identification using the online ID card function is offered rather as a secure and convenient alternative to the registration procedure used to date.

How does the online ID card function work?

In the future, combined with your PIN, the electronic residence title can be used for logging in and registering with online services.

The electronic residence title can provide the necessary data to these services (e.g. name and address of the document holder). Such data often have to be specified when you first register, when filling in forms and applications or concluding contracts. The card holder however makes the final decision about which data are transferred and confirms the transmission by entering his/her PIN number. With the online ID card function, the information is transmitted to the electronic application in a split second and without any errors.

Only service-providers who have an authorisation certificate may access personal data. Before conferring this authorisation, the state Issuing Unit for Terminal Certificates (VfB) checks the service-provider's identity, the plausibility of its application and whether the provider complies with the conditions governing data protection. In addition, data categories are specified that the provider may read when carrying out its services.

You are shown in advance the data that will be transmitted to the service-provider, and you are asked to select it as being approved by you. The data transmission does not take place until you enter your PIN. Your data are only transmitted to the service-provider in question within the online ID card function.

Which data/information are transmitted?

The following details are always transmitted when using the online ID card function:

  • a statement as to whether the electronic residence title is valid, and
  • the "cancellation feature" (so that the service-provider knows if the online ID card function has been cancelled).

The following data can only be transmitted with your consent:

  • surname,
  • first name(s),
  • doctorate,
  • date and place of birth,
  • address,
  • type of document,
  • "pseudonym function",
  • the country that issued the document,
  • confirmation of age (whether you have reached a certain age), and
  • confirmation of residence (whether you live in a specific town, region or Land.

display as attention: Note

Biometric data (fingerprint and photograph) will not be transmitted when using the online ID card function.

You can download the AusweisApp to use the online ID card function free of charge here.

to Download  AusweisApp (opens new window)

Date 17 December 2015

Additional Information

Frequently questions

Are fingerprints stored in the local immigration office permanently?

No. They are stored until the electronic residence title is given to the applicant. After this, the data are deleted irrevocably.

Are my data secure from hackers during transmission?

Your data are encrypted every time they are transmitted. All information and transmissions are protected with internationally recognised and established encryption processes.

Each provider wishing to use the electronic residence title for its services must apply for the relevant state authorisation certificate from the Issuing Office for Authorisation Certificates [Vergabestelle für Berechtigungszertifikate (VfB)] which is part of the Federal Office of Administration [Bundesverwaltungsamt]. The Issuing Office has strict rules about the data required to perform the service.

Are my data secure when using the internet?

Yes, your personal data are in fact more secure than if you were to use the internet without an electronic residence title when shopping or participating on social networking sites. The on-line identity function checks before each action whether the service provider really is the one it purports to be.

Are the old residence titles still valid?

The existing residence titles in passports and replacement passport documents retain the validity entered there until 31.08.2021 at the latest.

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