Greece National ID

Greek National ID Card - Terms and Application Guide

Table of Contents

Whether you were born in Greece or obtained its citizenship through other means, you will receive a Greek identity card, which serves as your paramount document within the country. In this article, we will elucidate the significance of a national ID card, outline the advantages and distinctive features of the new electronic identity cards, and furnish comprehensive instructions on the application process, specifically tailored for foreigners.

What a Greek ID Card Is

The Greek national identity card serves as an equivalent to a passport and confirms an individual’s Greek nationality. It is mandatory for all citizens aged 12 and above in this country. The card is issued as a small laminated card, measuring approximately 11 by 6.5 cm.

To prevent potential fraud, the card also includes security features such as a security thread, watermark, and various fluorescent elements.

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Why You Need an ID Card

In Greece, it is insisted by the government and police authorities that individuals carry identification with them at all times and present it upon request. While there is no specific law requiring this, failing to comply may result in temporary detention until your identity is verified. This can lead to complications, especially if you are not fluent in Greek.

Greece National ID Card

Moreover, your ID card will be frequently needed for various purposes such as visiting banks, government offices, purchasing SIM cards or plane tickets, and many more. Therefore, we strongly recommend developing a habit of carrying your ID card whenever you leave your residence. It is compact, lightweight, and more convenient than a passport.

Additionally, your Greek identity card can be also used as a travel document in most EU countries, excluding the United Kingdom, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova. Customs officers in these countries will also accept it:

French Guiana





Saint Pierre & Miquelon

New Caledonia

Wallis and Futuna


Saint Martin


Saint Barthélemy


French Polynesia


When to Montserrat on transit to a third country, you can use your passport for a maximum of 14 days. We advise against carrying your ID card due to the potential lack of card reading machines at certain Customs Control points. Opting for a regular passport instead will help avoid any potential delays at the border pass.

Biometric Data on a Greek ID Card

Traditionally, Greek national IDs used to include a lot of information that is now deemed insignificant for identification purposes, and therefore, it has been removed. This change has made the card much smaller and more convenient to carry in a pocket.

There are other important differences between the old and new cards that are worth mentioning. Firstly, the fields on the new cards are now printed in both Greek and English. Additionally, the new cards feature microchips as an extra security measure, allowing for the storage of additional biometric data (as described below).

On the front side of the card, you will find the bearer’s ID card number, photograph, name and surname, nationality, gender, date of birth, and signature. On the back side, you will see the card’s date of issue, along with some of the bearer’s biometric data, which is considered significant for various administrative and practical purposes. 

This includes the mother’s name and surname (both maiden and current), father’s name and surname, place of birth, height, Rhesus factor (optional), blood type (optional), digital fingerprints, and AMKA, which is a Greek social security ID number.

Greek National ID Card

Advantages of ID Cards Over Passports

  1. Identity cards offer a significantly more convenient way to carry and utilize personal identification. With just your ID number, immediate access to all necessary information from the national database is granted, eliminating the need for carrying physical documents.
  2. Furthermore, ID cards provide a heightened level of security compared to passports, as they are nearly impossible to forge. This makes them a reliable and trustworthy method of identification.

New Electronic Greek ID Cards

The Greek government has recently implemented a long-awaited idea: the introduction of electronic identity cards, commonly known as eIDs. This development has proven to be highly advantageous for cardholders for several reasons.

First and foremost, the size of the new eID cards has been reduced to that of a credit card, making them more practical and easier to carry. In addition, the implementation of advanced encryption technologies and electronic security systems has significantly enhanced the level of digital safety associated with eIDs.

Furthermore, the new microchips utilized in eIDs require minimal physical space to store vast amounts of biometric data. This technological advancement ensures efficient data storage without compromising on accuracy or security.

Perhaps most notably, these new electronic national identity cards offer quick and convenient access to various databases. These databases include information related to the bearer’s police and banking records, medical insurance and social funds, as well as driver’s licenses and other permits.

Overall, the introduction of eIDs in Greece marks a significant step forward in modernizing identification systems, providing citizens with a more streamlined and secure means of identification.

Greek ID Card Expiry Date

When it comes to the validity period of a Greek ID card, the official information can be rather confusing.

According to the official page of the Department of Home Affairs, which is entirely in Greek, there is no mention of an expiry date for the card.

However, the official site of the Department of Citizen Protection recommends that the card should be replaced every fifteen years.

Given this conflicting information, it would be prudent to consider the validity of the Greek ID card as fifteen years, just to err on the side of caution.

Required Documents

To obtain a Greek national identity card, applicants must provide the following documents:

Identity documents for the applicant, including Greek documents and those from their home country, displaying:

  • Name and surname
  • Place and date of birth
  • Legal status in the country
  • For underage applicants, the same documents are required for their parents and/or guardians.
  • Any official proof of residential address.
  • Medical certificates with optional information on blood type and/or rhesus factor.
  • Two recent black and white photographs, measuring 3.6 x 3.6 cm.
  • For family members of the main applicant, a separate set of documents is needed for each individual.

Please ensure all necessary paperwork is provided to complete the application process.

Greek National ID Card

Application Procedure

While national passports can be obtained at government offices within the country or at Greek Consulates abroad, an ID card can only be acquired in Greece. The exceptions to this are if you apply in the Republic of Cyprus or Germany. Next, a step-by-step guide on how to proceed with the application process.

Collecting and Certifying the Required Documents

Please contact the relevant authorities in Greece and your home country to gather all the documents mentioned in the previous section. To verify your blood type and rhesus factor, visit the nearest branch of the National Nursing and Sanitary Laboratory. If any of the documents are in a foreign language, it is important to translate them into Greek and have them notarized. Lastly, make sure to take recent photographs.

Locating an Office to Apply At

You need to choose from the following options based on your circumstances:

  1. The division or subdivision of the Department of Security in the district where your stated place of residence is located.
  2. Any police station within the stated district if there is no division of the Department of Security.
  3. Any Greek Consulate in Cyprus or Germany.

Please take note of the government office hours in Greece:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 7:00am – 14:30pm (15:00 in winter)
  • Wednesday: 14:00pm – 20:30pm
  • Saturday: 8:30a – 13:00pm (for schoolchildren only)
  • Sunday: Closed

Important: The applicant, including underage individuals, must be physically present during document submission and when the identity card is issued.

Visiting the Selected Office

  1. Please complete the application form and submit it along with the required documents and the Statement of Facts, which should be signed by you in the presence of a witness. Additionally, please pay an ID card issuance fee of 10 euros and a stamp tax of 0.3 euros. Finally, allow the officer to take your fingerprints and verify the information you have provided.

Final Thoughts

Typically, ID cards are issued promptly, sometimes even within minutes. However, it is advisable to anticipate a potential delay of a few days, depending on the office’s workload.

Moreover, it is important to note that, as a general policy in Greece, courier delivery of identity cards is not allowed.

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