On 16 March, the French government launched its new national digital ID card, equipped with an electronic chip, QR code, and fingerprints to fight identity theft. The new ID cards look much like the old ones, but they are smaller (wallet-size).
The electronic chip contains all the personal information that is stated on the physical card (name, date of birth, nationality, etc.), as well as the photo of the holder and two fingerprints (except for children under 12 years old).
The QR code is a CEV, or cachet électronique visible (electronic seal), an electronic signature that works as an authenticity stamp. The QR code will allow access to certain data.
The new French ID card wins prestigious award
The new French electronic National Identity Card (eID) has been awarded the prestigious Best New National ID Card prize by Reconnaissance International at the HSP Awards EMEA (High Security Printing for Europe – Africa – Middle East). The announcement was made on 20 December 2021. Awarded by a jury of independent international experts, the award recognises the outstanding achievement and technical sophistication of this personal identification document program thanks to French Ministry of the Interior, ANTS (Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés) and IN Groupe’s work in the design and production of the new French eID.
Who is eligible for the new ID card?
Only French citizens, not residents, are eligible to apply for an identity card in France.
It will be possible to travel within the European Union with the new ID cards. However, starting October 2021, cardholders will not be able to travel to the United Kingdom.
A gradual rollout of the new ID card
The département of Oise, to the north of Paris, was the first to distribute the new ID cards starting on 16 March 2021. The new cards were gradually rolled out to other parts of the country. Beginning 2 August 2021 officials across all of France started distributing the new cards to applicants and stopped issuing the old cards.
Between June and December 2021, more than 2 million new eID(s) had been issued.
The new ID cards will be valid for 10 years, less than the current 15-year validity term. The previous version of the ID card will remain valid until 2031.
The Local France