The Belgian embassies and career consulates issue electronic identity cards to Belgians who are listed in their population registers:
- eID: electronic identity card for adults and children older than 12
- Kids-ID: electronic identity card for children younger than 12
These eID and Kids-ID offer various benefits:
- Handy bank card size
- Possibility to travel to more than 50 countries (more information in French or Dutch)
- Less expensive than a passport: see Consular fees
- Remains valid in case you move (to another career post, from or to Belgium)
- Allows certain secure actions over the Internet (if the certificates have been activated)
Do not confuse the Belgian identity card with the Belgian passport or with the residence card of your country of residence.
Note the difference between Belgian identity cards and residence documents, which may be issued by the country of residence. The validity and legal nature of these residence documents are generally limited to the territory of the country of residence.
The eID and Kids-ID are valid identity and travel documents for the member states of the European Union and for a few neighbouring countries. Hence, they will often be helpful - and even necessary - means for the holders to identify themselves.
For numerous countries a passport is required as an eID is not sufficient.