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How to apply for an identity card

How to apply for an identity card 

You can apply for a standard identity card online or by visiting the police station of your choice. It is easiest to do this online.

  1. Have your passport photograph taken. The photography studio sends your passport photograph to the Police electronically. You will receive a photograph retrieval code as a text message or e-mail message for attaching the photograph to the application.
  2. Fill out the application in our online service. Attach the photograph retrieval code you have received to the application. Select delivery time and collection point. The system will tell you if you need to visit a police station. Pay the application fee online. You can also monitor the progress of your application online.
  3. Book an appointment with our online service if you need to visit a police station in order to apply. Remember to take your current passport or identity card with you if you have one.
  4. Pick up your new identity card from the collection point you chose when you receive the collection note.

If you cannot or do not want to submit the application online, you can also do so at a police station. Please note that submitting the application online is cheaper and quicker.

Online application forms are available for standard identity cards, a minor's identity card without travel right and a foreigner's identity card. You cannot apply for a temporary identity card online.

How to apply for an identity card - haitarit

When you have to visit a police station

When you have to visit a police station

The police’s online service or a permit adviser will tell you if you need to visit a police station for identification. A visit to the police station not always required. Below are some examples of situations in which a visit to a police station is required.

When you apply for an identity card online, you won’t need to visit a police station if

  • a licence official has identified you for a passport or identification card application no more than 6 six years earlier.
  • you were at least 12 years of age at the time of the identification.
  • your name is the same as on the most recent passport or identity card.
  • a licence official can see that the person in your new and previous passport photographs is the same.

If all of four statements apply to you, you won’t need to visit a police station. In other words, it is not enough to have been identified at a police station at some point in the past – you must have been identified in the past six years.

In most situations, this means that you can renew every second identity card without visiting a police station. Your earlier identity card does not need to be valid when you apply for a new identity card. The police may issue you several identity cards in a row without a visit to a police station if you fulfil the criteria listed above and if you have an appropriate reason for applying for an identity card more frequently than normal.

If you do not fulfil the criteria: If you do not fulfil the criteria listed above, you can still submit your application electronically but it will only be processed after you have visited a police station for identification. You will only be charged for the fee for submitting an online identity card application even if you need to visit a police station.

The application system is there to help you: The online service will tell you if you need to visit a police station for identification. 

At the police station

Place for service: You can visit any police station you want regardless of where you live. The only exception is the police service point at the Helsinki Airport, which only accepts emergency identity card applications from air passengers transiting through the airport. Police services are also available through mobile permit service units and at some joint service points.

Making appointments: To book an appointment, go to our online service or call the police helpline at +358 (0)295 419 800 (at standard call rates) from Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 16:15. You may also go to a police station without an appointment, but keep in mind that the waiting times may be long especially in the summer.

Verifying your identity: At the police station, you will be asked to verify your identity using either your valid passport or identity card. If you don’t have either, the police can still verify your identity, but this will take some time. Bring your expired passport, identity card or driving licence, if you have one, and any other documents that you think could be used to verify your identity with you.

For more information on how to identify a minor applicant, see section Identity card for a minor.

If you have submitted an identity card application online and the system tells you that you need to visit a police station, please bring the following with you:

  • a previous passport or identity card. For more information, see section Verifying your identity.
  • any appendices the online system has instructed you to bring with you.

If you apply for an identity card at a police station without using the online service at all:

  • one passport photograph. For more information, see section Passport photograph.
  • a previous passport or identity card. For more information, see section Verifying your identity.
  • a bank card or cash. For more information, see Payments.
  • the consent of all guardians if you are applying for an identity card for a minor under the age of 18. If a guardian is not present at the police station, they can provide their consent in writing. For more information see section Identify card for a minor.
  • proof of conscript’s clearance, if you are a conscript between the ages of 23 and 30. For more information, see section Issuing identity cards to conscripts.

At the police station - haitarit

Applying for an identity card for a minor

Applying for an identity card for a minor

Even young children need their own travel document. An electronic application for a minor can be submitted online the same as for adults, but almost all minors require a visit to a police station for identification.

A standard identity card with travel right or a special minor’s identity card without travel right can be issued to a minor. The guardians’ consent is not required for an identity card without travel right.

For more information see section Identify card for a minor.

Changes in personal data

You cannot use your identity card if your name or personal identity code has changed and your current identity card has your old details. However, you can still use an expired identity document to verify your identity when you pick up your new identity document, but only if the old document expired no more than a year ago.

We recommend that you apply for a new identity card as soon as your new name or personal identity code has been confirmed.

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Henkilökortin myöntäminen asevelvolliselle en

Issuing identity cards to conscripts

Compulsory military service may prevent the issuance of identity card or limit the validity period of the identity card to be issued. According to Finnish law, men of conscription age 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. 

Conscript’s clearance: Conscript’s clearance means that you have performed military or civilian service or that you have been exempted from service. The process to check conscript’s clearance status is being gradually automated, which is why a separate certificate is not always needed.

You can use any of the following to demonstrate conscript’s clearance:

  • a military passport
  • a civilian service certificate
  • a clearance certificate issued by a military official
  • a conscription certificate which states that you are exempt from military service either absolutely or in peacetime.

Different identity cards

The police issue several different identity card types. Different identity card models are listed below.

A minor’s identity card without travel right

You can get a standard identity card for your minor, which can be used both for travel and identification in online services. Issuing the card requires the guardians’ consent. 

You can also apply for a special minor’s identity card, which cannot be used for travel and does not have a chip allowing online identification. The card can also be issued without the guardians’ consent. In both cases, the application can be filled out online in the same way as the adult's own application. A minor’s identity card without travel right can only be applied for from the police, not from a Finnish mission abroad.

Temporary identity card

For a compelling reason, an identity card can also be issued temporarily. The conditions for issuing a temporary identity card are always considered carefully on a case-by-case basis.

You can be issued with a temporary identity card on application, for example, if the documents verifying your identity have got lost or stolen. In that case, a temporary identity card will generally be valid until you receive a new identity document.

You will receive the temporary identity card with you from a police station, and it is valid for no more than four months. You cannot submit the passport photograph needed for a temporary identity card electronically, but you must append two paper photographs to the application. You cannot use a temporary identity card as a travel document, nor does it have a chip allowing you to use online services. You can only apply for the card from the police, not from a Finnish mission abroad.

Foreigner's identity card

You can be issued with an identity card if you are a foreign citizen permanently resident in Finland, your details have been entered in the Population Information System, and you have a valid residence permit or residence card or your right of residence has been registered. 

A foreigner’s identity card is issued for no longer than five years or until the expiry of the applicant’s residence permit or residence card, whichever is sooner. A foreigner’s identity card cannot be used as a travel document and can only be applied for from the police, not from a Finnish mission abroad.

When applying for a foreigner’s identity card, you must present a valid passport or identity card. If you don’t have either of these, you must present a valid residence permit card or residence card. In such a case, the authority receiving the application can take your fingerprints and compare them with the fingerprints on the chip of the residence permit card or residence card to verify your identity.

Identity card without travel right

An identity card issued to a Finnish citizen is, in principle, a travel document. Exceptions are the minor’s identity card without travel right and the temporary identity card that cannot be used for travel. In addition, a standard identity card issued to a Finnish citizen may, under certain conditions, be issued without the right to travel. This would be the case if you cannot be issued with a standard identity card owing to an offence, imprisonment or military service or you are under prohibition to travel or leave the country.

Cases when an identity card is not issued

The authority issuing the identity card checks before issuing the card if there is anything preventing you from receiving an identity card with travel right. 

According to the Identity Card Act, an identity card can be revoked if

  • you are strongly suspected of having committed an offence punishable with at least one year of imprisonment and you are still the subject of a police pre-trial investigation or consideration of charges in the matter, or if you have been charged with the offence or wanted by the authorities.
  • you have been sentenced to unconditional imprisonment which you have not yet served.
  • you are a conscript and you have turned 28 and you haven’t demonstrated that compulsory military service is not an impediment to issuance of identity card. In a situation like this, your identity card may be revoked until the end of the year in which you turn 30.

You are not issued with an identity card with travel right if you have been given a travel ban under the Coercive Measures Act or a ban on leaving the country under the Bankruptcy Act.

If a regular identity card cannot be issued to you for the above-mentioned reasons, you can be issued with an identity card without travel right but that can be used in online services.