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What is an ID card for
The ID card is a compulsory identity card that serves primarily to identify citizens of the Czech Republic. It must be held by every citizen over 15 years of age with permanent residence in the Czech Republic, with a few exceptions. However, it may be issued to a person under 15 years of age upon request. In these cases, it is issued mainly as a replacement for a passport within a European Union country. A person who has limited legal capacity is not required to have an identity card.
At present, only ID cards that are machine-readable and have biometric data (namely facial images and fingerprints) are issued. You can tell if your card is also machine-readable by the country code (i.e. the Czech Republic) printed on a blue rectangle in a circle with 12 yellow stars on the front, in the top left corner, and the biometric symbol on the back.
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How and where to get an ID card
You can apply for an ID card at any municipal office with extended jurisdiction or at the municipal office of Prague 1 to 22. If you are interested in having your ID issued within a shorter period of time, you can also apply directly to the Ministry of the Interior.
You will need to present your birth certificate or passport with machine-readable data and biometric data to be issued with your very first ID card. If you have acquired Czech citizenship and you are applying for an ID card here, then you will need a birth certificate and proof of Czech citizenship. If this is your second or subsequent ID card, then you will only need to present your existing document. If you are unable to produce it (e.g. because it has been stolen or lost), you will need to produce your birth certificate or other proof of identity (e.g. passport or driving licence). You usually do not need to take a photograph with you as you will be photographed on the spot.
A new ID card will be issued within 30 days of the date of application, or within a shorter period of 24 hours or 5 working days. There is no charge for the standard time limit, but if you want the ID within 24 hours, you will have to apply directly to the Ministry of the Interior and pay a fee of CZK 1,000. For the five day deadline, it is then 500 or 250 crowns depending on where you apply for and collect the OP.
You will pay the same if you want an OP for a child under 15. You also pay for a temporary ID card issued immediately after acquiring Czech citizenship and for an ID card for a citizen without permanent residence in the territory. You will also pay for an ID card that had to be issued before the previous ID card expired, e.g. in case of loss, damage, theft, etc. The finished ID card can be issued directly to the applicant citizen over 15 years of age or to his/her legal representative.
What to do when the expiry date is approaching
A national identity card is issued to every citizen of the Czech Republic over the age of 15 and its validity is determined by the age of the person concerned:
- For a person over the age of 15, the validity period is set at 10 years;
- For a person over 70 years of age, the validity is set at 35 years;
- For a person under 15 years of age, the validity is set at 5 years;
- For a person over 12 years of age who cannot be fingerprinted, the validity is set at 1 year.
In addition, special identity cards are also issued which do not have machine-readable data. This may be due to a technical defect in their production or an emergency. These cards are only issued for 5 months and then you have to apply for a new one. This type of card is also issued to persons within 2 months of acquiring Czech citizenship. So what to do if your ID card is about to expire?
You should apply for a new card 30 days before the expiry date of your existing document. If your ID card is forfeited, you will no longer be able to use it as proof of identity and you will need a birth certificate or other proof of identity to issue a new ID card.
You will soon no longer have to present your ID cards only at the physical checkpoint. The Pirate MPs have therefore introduced the eDocuments application, which should start operating in January 2024. eDocuments will work like any other mobile application that a citizen downloads and registers. You can find out how it will work in our next article.
When to get a new ID card
In addition to the standard reasons, such as turning 15 or replacing your licence, there are other reasons for replacing it. These are changes to your details. Specifically, a change of name, a change of address of your permanent place of residence or a change in your living situation (this only applies if your ID states whether you are single or married).
What if I don’t have an ID
An ID card is a compulsory form of identification. It follows that if you don’t have it, you may have unpleasant consequences. If you do not apply for an ID card within 15 days of the expiry of your existing card, or if it is lost or stolen, it is an offence and you can be fined up to CZK 15,000. The same applies if your details have changed and you have not applied for a new document within 60 days. The same applies if you have breached your obligation to protect your ID card (from damage, loss, etc.), failed to take possession of the card you have produced or failed to hand in your existing card for destruction.
You can befined up to CZK 10 000 if you have not applied for an ID card within 30 days of turning 15, becoming legally competent or changing your place of residence after leaving the country.
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Theft or loss of an ID card and the fee for a new one
It can happen to anyone, you forget your wallet at the checkout or someone goes through your pockets and you are immediately without your documents. How to proceed in this case and what is the fee for a new ID card?
How to proceed
- Report the loss or theft as soon as possible to any office with extended jurisdiction, the Prague 1-22 municipal office, the police or, in the case of a lost ID card abroad, to the embassy. This will invalidate the document to prevent any misuse. Should you find the ID card, you must hand it in for destruction otherwise it is an offence.
- Apply for a new document within 15 days of the loss or theft.
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ID card fee
There are no penalties for loss or theft of an ID card. However, what is paid for is the issuance of a new card, which costs 200 crowns in the case of the classic processing time.