Switzerland will begin issuing a new, more secure national identity card on March 3, 2023, just a few months after the launch of the country’s new passport. Like the new passport, the Swiss ID card features state-of-the-art security technology. The ID card was last redesigned in 2005.
Together, the new passport and identity card form a family of ID documents with a uniform design—a first for Switzerland. Both documents feature artistic depictions of the mountains and water the country is known for.
The new identity card at a glance
Here are some basic facts about the new identity card:
- Like its predecessor, the new card is made of a polycarbonate substrate.
- The personal data is laser engraved. The portrait is shown in grayscale.
- One significant change with the new identity card is that the document number has a different structure, which is as follows: K9N99N99 (K = a fixed prefix, 9 = a number from 0 to 9, N = a letter from A to Z).
- Several data elements are in tactile (raised) print. These include the document number and date of birth (on the front side) and the cardholder’s height (on the reverse side).
- On the right edge of the reverse side is the blank (white) card number field, which is used to identify the card until it is personalized.
Security features of the new ID card
The new ID card contains several advanced security features to authenticate the document as being genuine. Some of the key security features include:
- Diffractive optical variable image device (DOVID)
- Optically variable ink (OVI) that changes color when card is tilted
- WindowLock: transparent window with a secondary image of the card holder (shown below)
- Optically variable ink (OVI) that changes color when card is tilted (shown below)
- Laser-engraved floating image
- UV images
Both documents are issued by the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (OFCL). Previously issued Swiss identity cards shall remain valid until their expiry date.
Swiss Federal Office of Police (fedpol)
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