On 2 June 2021 Spain began issuing a new national identity card, known as the DNI 4.0, that complies with the EU Regulation 2019/1157 of the European Parliament and of the council of 20 June 2019.

The new European identity document format aims to unify the documents of all member countries by standardizing their appearance and functions. The DNI 4.0 falls under the framework of the DNIE Digital Identity Programme of the Spanish national police.

At a Glance: Changes in Appearance

There are some new design elements, and different data/item placements, on the DNI 4.0. They include:

  • The DNI is bilingual, with English “National Identity Card” (English) appearing next to “Documento Nacional de Identidad” (Spanish) at the bottom edge. This brings it into compliance with European regulations.
  • The two-letter code “ES” inside a blue rectangle and surrounded by 12 yellow stars, appears on the card, identifying it as belonging to the Kingdom of Spain.
  • Spain’s national flag now appears on the face of the document.
  • Some data has been moved to a different location. For example, the identity number has been moved to the top center of the card. 

The new Spanish ID card measures the same dimensions (85.60 x 53.89 mm) as the previous iteration.

On Closer Inspection: Security Features

Security features incorporated in the new card include the following:

  • Optically variable ink and Diffractive Optical Variable Image Device
  • Changeable laser image
  • Relief embossing
  • A DNI microchip that can store the holder’s signature, facial image and two fingerprints, along with authentication certificates and their electronic signature.

The validity of the new ID cards is 5 to 10 years. However, some states may set a different term for citizens under 10 years old and those over 70 years old.




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