Navigation Menu

How to use the identity card

How to use the identity card

When using your identity card, keep in mind that

  • even young children need to have their own identity card.
  • the information on the identify card must be up to date. If you change your name, you cannot use an identity card with your old name on it as a travel document.
  • you must apply for a new identity card if you can no longer be identified from the photograph on it. This also applies to children.
  • identity must be protected. Contact the police immediately if your identity card gets lost or stolen.
  • an expired, broken or damaged identity card will not get you through border control.
  • 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 received a new card even if the old card was still valid.

How to use the identity card - haitarit

What should I do if my identity card is lost or stolen?

What should I do if my identity card is lost or stolen?

Protect your identity: If your identity card is lost or stolen, contact the police. This is very important in order to prevent abuse. Submit the report using the electronic form for reporting an offence or visit a police station. In the report, submit a detailed explanation of how you lost your identity card. If you lose your identity card abroad, you can contact a Finnish mission to report it. You can apply for a new identity card after you have submitted the report.

Identity card is cancelled, and a warrant is issued for it: The police will register your report and cancel your lost or stolen identity card. A warrant is issued for your identity card in Finland and abroad.

The cancellation is permanent: You can no longer use an identity card reported lost or stolen or revalidate it even if it was found later.

Report a lost or stolen identity card using the electronic form for reporting an offence.

Using the identity card as a travel document

In some countries, you can also use your identity card as a travel document. Starting from 2 August 2021, the microchip of a ID card accepted as a travel document will have the fingerprints and facial image stored in the same way as in the passport. Please note that you cannot use an identity card issued without travel right, a minor’s identity card issued with travel right, an identity card issued to a foreigner or a temporary identity card as a travel document.

You can use the identity card as a travel document in the following countries:

  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Spain
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • France
  • Romania
  • Germany
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Estonia

Since 1.10.2021, you will no longer be able to travel to the UK with an ID card; you will need a passport to travel. Exceptions to this are EU citizens with an EUSS residence permit and cross-border workers. If you are planning to travel to the UK with an ID card, please check the website to make sure you fall into the exemption group and meet the other criteria required.

You don’t need a travel document for travelling between the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland), but you must be able to prove your identity and indicate that you are a citizen of one of the Nordic countries if requested. 

Please note that a driving licence does not include the required citizenship code: the country code on the driving licence (e.g. FIN) only shows the country of birth of the licence holder. 

Read more about the driving licence on the website of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency.

Using an identity card in online services

The chip of a standard identity card and a foreigner's identity card contains a Citizen Certificate that allows you to security log into public services. A minor’s identity card without travel right has no chip so it cannot be used to log into online services.

For electronic identification, you need a card reader and chip reader software. 

Read more about this and download the required software from the Citizen Certificate and Electronic Identity page of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s website.

Restoring a locked citizen certificate

The citizen certificate in the ID will lock if you enter a wrong password several times. You can restore the locked citizen certificate and generate a new password using your activation code.

If your activation code is lost, you can order a new activation code letter by visiting the Police station. You will have to prove your identity at the station. The activation code will be sent to the address you give for the purpose, within a week from the order.

Once you have the activation code, you can restore the locked password with the help of the card reader software.

Please download the software and read the instructions, with added information, at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency website page entitled Citizen Certificate and electronic identity. 

ID card chip

The ID card accepted as a travel document contains both the citizen certificate and other functions related to the right to travel. Finland is bound by the EU regulation which requires the storing of a facial image on the chip in the personal ID cards usable as travel documents, issued on 2 August 2021 or thereafter. The chip complies with the international standard drafted by the International Civil Aviation Organization Document (ICAO) which operates under the UN.

The chip contains the same information visible at the face of the card: facial image, personal data and ID card data. In addition, the chip contains the fingerprints not visible in the ID card. 

The new Finnish ID cards meet all ICAO and EU security requirements. Moreover, the Finnish ID cards also include the optional security features under the standard. The data on the chip is efficiently protected other against fraud, including the digital signature of the State of Finland which guarantees that the chip only contains information stored by the authority that has issued the ID card. 

The microchip and its antenna are embedded in the ID card. As a result, the ID card data can be read wirelessly using a particular chip reader. The chip does not have any power supply but takes the power though the antenna from the reader. For this reason, the reading distance is very short.

Features of Finnish identity cards

Being able to verify the authenticity of identity documents is very important. Identity documents issued by the Police include passports and identity cards. Several versions of both types of documents are in circulation. The appearance and security features of identity documents are amended and updated regularly. The publication of a new identity card models will not affect the validity of earlier identity card models.

For more information about Finnish and other European travel and identity documents, visit the public register of authentic travel and identity documents of the Council of the European Union.

Features of a ID card

Features of Finnish ID cards (models issued from 13.3.2023)

What should I do if my identity card is lost or stolen? -haitarit

Cancelling an identity card

Cancelling an identity card

An identity card is always cancelled if it is reported lost or stolen. An identity card can also be cancelled for other reasons listed below. 

An identity card is cancelled if

  • it gets lost or stolen.

An identity card can be cancelled if

  • requested by the cardholder.
  • an identity card has been issued to a minor requiring their guardians’ consent and if the guardians withdraw their consent.
  • a foreigner’s identity card has been issued to the applicant, and the card holder's residence permit, registration of the right of residence or residence card is cancelled, or the card holder is deported.
  • the card is damaged.
  • the card’s markings have been tampered with.
  • the card is used unlawfully by someone else than the card holder.
  • the certificate’s data have been tampered with.
  • health insurance data are connected with the card, but the card holder no longer has health insurance in Finland. Health insurance data are no longer recorded on the identity card.

A card holder can only hold one valid identity card at a time. Your old identity card will expire as soon as you have been issued a new identity card, even if there is still time left on your old identity card.

Miksi Suomen henkilökortti on voimassa vain viisi vuotta? en

Why is the Finnish identity card only valid for five years?

A longer validity period would make it more difficult to identify individuals from their identity card photographs and jeopardise the information security of chips and identity card security features.