New ID cards issued by German authorities are meant to provide new forms of security against identity theft. They also enable easier identity verification for online portals, such as internet shopping sites.
The new ID cards are the size of a banking card
As of Monday Nov. 1, Germans are able to apply for new identity cards with improved security measures.
Voluntary fingerprints can be given to help with verification
Rather than a laminated card, which Germans carry as their main piece of identification, the new ID cards are plastic and feature enhanced security features.
A built-in computer chip containing personal data ensures accurate identification at automated machines or online. The new card also enables an electronic signature, which can be used for things like online shopping.
Germans who still have an older ID card that has not yet expired can still use them until the end of their expiration date. Old cards can also be exchanged for new ones after paying a fee of 28.80 euros ($40).
Voluntarily submitting fingerprints to be electronically saved on the card is an additional measure of identity verification enabled with the new cards.
The new cards, which are the same size as a standard banking card, are also smaller than the previous card.
Author: Matt Zuvela (dapd, dpa)
Editor: Chuck Penfold