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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 online service or permit adviser will tell you if you need to go to the Police station for identification. Often, the visit is not necessary. Read here when the Police station visit is and is not necessary. The requirements of the visit vary by type of ID card because the contents of the cards also vary. In case of ID card for minors, a visit is always required.

When you apply for an ID card online, you need not go to the Police station if

  • you have seen a processing officer for identification and you have had your fingerprints taken for a passport or ID card within the past 6 years.
  • when you were identified, you were at least 12 years of age.
  • your name is the same as in your previous passport or ID card.
  • the processing officer is able to establish that your new passport photo was taken from the same person as you previous passport photos.

When you apply for a foreigner’s ID card online, you need not go to the Police station if

  • you have been identified by a processing officer for the purpose of a foreigner’s ID card within the past 6 years.
  • when you were identified, you were at least 12 years of age.
  • your name is the same as in your previous foreigner’s ID card.
  • the processing officer is able to establish that your new passport photo was taken from the same person as you previous passport photos.

For the two above card types, all four requirements must be fulfilled. In other words, it is not enough that you have once been identified at the Police station but it must have been done within the past six year. Correspondingly, the fingerprints must have been taken within the past six years if you apply for an ID accepted as a travel document.

This often means that you can get every second ID card without a visit to the Police station. The earlier ID card need not be in force when you apply for a new one. Several subsequent ID cards can be issued without a visit to the Police station if all requirements listed above are met and there is an appropriate reason for applying the ID cards more frequently.

If the requirements are not met: If the requirements listed above are not met, you can still make an online application but it will be processed only after you have been to the Police station for identification, giving new fingerprints if you apply for an ID card accepted as a travel document. The lower fee charged for online applications will still be valid even if you need to go to the Police station.

The system will guide you: When filling the application, the online service will tell you whether you need to go to the Police station or not.

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.

ID card for minor accepted as travel document

You can apply for a normal ID card for your minor child, accepted as a travel document and usable as an ID in online services. The application requires a consent by the guardians. 

Another option is a special ID card for minors, not usable as a travel document and not containing the citizen certification required for online identification. This ID will be issued also without the consent of the guardians. In both cases, the application can be made online in the same way as the applications for adults. The ID card for minors, not usable as travel document, can only be applied from the Police, not from Finnish Embassies 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

The ID card issued to Finnish citizens is, as a premise, also usable as a travel document. The exceptions are the ID card for minors, not usable as a travel documents and the temporary ID card which is neither accepted for travel purposes. Moreover, the normal ID card issued to Finnish citizen can, under certain conditions, be issued in a form that does not allow it to be used as a travel document. This can be done if you would not qualify for a normal ID card due to crime you have committed, imprisonment or military conscription, or you are subject to a travel ban or a prohibition against leaving the country.

If the ID card is issued in a form which does not allow it to be used as a travel document, the applicant’s fingerprints and facial image are not stored on the card chip. The fingerprints taken in connection with the application will be erased from the Police registers no later than 30 days from the date in which the ID card not accepted as a travel document has been issued.

Features of a ID card

Taking of fingerprints

The applicant of an ID card accepted as a travel document will have two fingerprints taken, using a fingerprint reader. They will mainly be the prints of the index fingers but can also be other fingers, except for the little finger, if the applicant has no index fingers or their prints are not of sufficient quality. The ID card accepted as a travel document can also be issued without fingerprints if they cannot be taken due to a trauma or disease. If the fingerprints cannot be taken for a temporary reason, the ID card accepted as a travel document is issued for the anticipated period and for the maximum of one year. Fingerprints are not taken from children under 12.

The ID card applicant’s fingerprints are stored in the Police ID card register and on the ID card chip.

The use of the fingerprint data stored on the chip and in the ID card register is covered with detailed provisions of law. The data in the register may only be used for the identification of the person applying for the ID card or passport, for securing the new passport or ID card as well as identification of a victim of an accident or crime if the identity of the victim cannot be verified in any other way. 

The fingerprints stored on the ID card chip can only be used to identify the ID card holder and to verify the authenticity of the document. Fingerprints taken at a scene of crime must not be compared with those in the ID card register for purposes of identifying a suspect. The Police, other authority issuing passports, border control authorities and, under particular circumstances, the Customs are the only parties that are allowed to process fingerprint data.

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.