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The first pilot phase of the Portuguese ID Card also known as Cartão de Cidadão started February 14, 2007, in the Azores region. The full roll-out started in 2008.
In 2014, all Portuguese citizens have their new national identity card in hand replacing the old paper-based document.

​The goal of issuing a Portuguese ID Card was to revolutionize the way in which Portuguese citizens interact with the government.


When it comes to navigating life in Portugal, having a Portuguese ID card is essential. This official document, known as “Cartão de Cidadão,” serves as an identification and authentication tool for Portuguese citizens. In this guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about the Portuguese ID card, from its application process to its key features.

What is a Portuguese ID Card?

The Portuguese ID card, or “Cartão de Cidadão,” is a multifunctional document that serves as both a national identity card and an authentication tool. It is issued by the Portuguese government to its citizens and is an indispensable piece of identification for various transactions and activities in Portugal.

Key Features of the Portuguese ID Card

The Cartão de Cidadão carries a wealth of information about the cardholder, including:

  1. Full Name: The cardholder’s full name is prominently displayed on the card.
  2. Photograph: A recent photograph of the cardholder for visual identification.
  3. Signature: The individual’s signature for verification purposes.
  4. Nationality: Indicates Portuguese citizenship.
  5. Date of Birth: Specifies the cardholder’s date of birth.
  6. Card Number: A unique identification number associated with the card.
  7. Expiration Date: Indicates when the ID card expires and needs to be renewed.
  8. Fiscal Number (NIF): An essential tax identification number for financial transactions.

Application Process for a Portuguese ID Card

Obtaining a Portuguese ID card involves the following steps:

  1. Book an Appointment: Schedule an appointment at a local Citizen’s Shop (Loja do Cidadão) or Service Desk.
  2. Required Documents: Prepare necessary documents, including proof of address, photograph, and existing ID (if applicable).
  3. Visit the Service Center: Attend your appointment and submit the required documents.
  4. Biometric Data Collection: Provide fingerprints and a digital signature for security purposes.
  5. Wait for Processing: The ID card will be processed, and you will be notified when it’s ready for collection.
  6. Collect Your ID Card: Return to the Service Center to pick up your new ID card.

Renewing Your Portuguese ID Card

Portuguese ID cards are typically valid for five years. To renew, follow these steps:

  1. Book an Appointment: Schedule a renewal appointment.
  2. Provide Necessary Documents: Bring your expiring ID card and any other required documents.
  3. Biometric Data Update: Provide updated fingerprints and digital signature.
  4. Wait for Processing: The renewed card will be ready for collection.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen ID Card

In case of loss or theft, report it immediately to the authorities. You’ll need to follow a specific procedure to obtain a replacement ID card.

Final Thoughts

The Portuguese ID card, or Cartão de Cidadão, is a crucial document for citizens living in Portugal. It serves as a means of identification and authentication for various official purposes. Understanding the application and renewal process is essential for maintaining accurate and up-to-date identification.


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