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Identity card

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide
  • Public service

An identity card is a document with a photo that is issued to prove the identity of a Finnish citizen or a foreigner who is permanently resident in Finland. An identity card issued to a Finnish citizen is also a limited travel document, in compliance with the provisions pursuant to the Passport Act. In addition to this, the identity card has a chip that enables access to electronic services.

You can apply for an identity card either online or by visiting a police service point in person.

You can only travel with a valid personal identity card. This applies to children as well. An expired, broken or damaged identity card will not get you through border control.

If you are planning on using an identity card as a travel document, you should check the validity of the card well in advance, as well as what requirements your destination country has for identity cards.

When calculating the delivery time, remember to allow time for the application process.

Do the following

Applying for an identity card is easiest through the police e-service. The application can also be made in at a police station or at a police service point.

1. Have your photograph taken at a photography studio that can send your passport photograph to the police electronically.

2. Fill in the application on the police e-service. Attach the photograph retrieval code you received from the photographer to your application. Pay the application fee online.

3. In certain cases, only the electronic application is required. In other cases, in addition to the application, the applicant must visit a police licence services point in order to be identified prior to processing the application. When you fill in your application, the system will tell you whether you need to visit the police licence services point. If a visit is required, your application will only be processed after the visit. You can avoid queuing by booking an appointment in the police e-service.

4. Written consent of all the guardians of an applicant under the age of 18 is required (a minor’s identity card without travel rights can be applied for without consent).

5. A certificate showing that conscription is not an impediment to issuing an identity card is required from men aged 18–30.

Once the new identity card is ready, it will be delivered to a Matkahuolto office or an office of their subcontractor of your choice in a sealed envelope.

To collect your identity card, you need to present proof of identity and the tracking number. You can show the tracking number, for example, from the screen of your phone, a printout of the notification, or a hand-written note.

For more information on how to apply for regular identity cards, identity cards for minors, temporary identity cards, and foreigner’s identity cards, visit the police website.

To whom and on what terms

You can also submit the entire application at a police licence services point, but it is cheaper and quicker to submit the application online. The cheaper fee applies even if your electronic application requires a visit in person in order to be identified. An electronic application cannot be submitted without a digital photograph delivered directly from the photographer to the police. The digital photograph can also be used when you submit the application entirely at a licence services point.

When an identity card is used, the name and personal identity number on it must be up to date. You must apply for a new identity card if your last name changes as a result of getting married, for example.

You can only have one valid identity card in your possession at a time. Your old identity card will expire as soon as you have applied for and been issued with a new card, even if there is still time left on your old card.

Conscripts can be issued with an identity card with an expiry date no later than the end of the year of their 28th birthday, unless they can prove that conscription is not an impediment to their holding an identity card.

If you apply for an identity card and a passport at the same time, a lower than normal fee will be charged for the card. This applies to both online applications and applications made at a service point.

You cannot apply for a temporary identity card online.

A fee is charged for the service.

The fee is based on a decree of the Ministry of the Interior on the payment for police services. The decree is periodically updated.


Period of validity

In standard cases, an identity card remains valid for a maximum of five years.

Basic information

The service is provided byPoliisi
Responsible for the servicePoliisi
Area Whole Finland
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Poliisi
Updated: 5/26/2020