How to apply for a national ID card (osobna iskaznica)

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If you plan to apply for a national ID card for the first time, you’re probably wondering where to start.

Before we get started, this post is only for citizens of Croatia. If you are not a citizen of Croatia and need an ID card, you must first apply for residency. Head on over here.

Every person older than 18 with residence in Croatia must possess an ID card (called “osobna iskaznica” or “osobna” for short). It is legal proof of your identity, Croatian citizenship, gender, date of birth, address, and residence status.

Where to apply for an ID card

You must apply for an ID card at the administrative police station closest to your permanent residence address (called “prebivalište”) or to your temporary address (“boravište”) in Croatia. Embassies and consulates aren’t allowed to issue osobna iskanica.

Didn’t know you could have two addresses in Croatia? Yup. That is a thing. Here is an explanation.

  • Prebivalište is your permanent address, where you get communication from the government
  • Boravište is a temporary or occasional address where you may live for 3 or more months, which may include:
    • Where you are staying while you’re away at school
    • Where you are staying abroad
    • Where you are staying while doing temporary work in another city

You are required to register both with the government. However, it is not uncommon to only register the prebivalište.

Every person with Croatian citizenship can get a Croatian ID card. This means that you can get an ID card even if you don’t have a residence in Croatia and live abroad.

If you do not live in Croatia but hold citizenship, you may apply for a national ID card using your foreign address. However, the ID will not be proof of residence. For citizens living abroad, you can go to any police station in Croatia to apply for the osobna.

You can find the list of all administrative police stations here and easily find out where you have to go.

Osobna Iskaznica - Croatian National ID Card
Image by Ministarstvo Uprava

Which documents do I need for a national ID card application?

When applying for an osobna, you must bring the following with you to the police station:

1. A proof of payment for the cost of the procedure. The fees are as follows:

  • 60 kn for children under 5 years old
  • 79,50 kn for children older than 5 and minors
  • 49,50 kn for people older than 65
  • 195 kn for the accelerated procedure (ID card is ready within 10 days)
  • 500 kn for the urgent procedure (ID card is ready within 3 days)

Payment can be made in person at a bank or Pošta or via internet banking to:

Opis plaćanja: Naknada za osobnu iskaznicu
IBAN: HR1210010051863000160
Model: HR65 7005-442-OIB

Here are detailed instructions on how to pay bills in Croatia.

2. A document proving your identity

Parents may give a statement for children without any identity document.

3. 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm photo

There are usually photo shops near each police station where you can pick up some photos in the correct size for around 100 kuna.

If you received a Croatian biometric passport within the last 5 years, you don’t have to enclose your photo. It will be taken from the system. An exception is if your look has drastically changed, and then a new photo will be required.

4. A signed agreement on certification services

You may find information on this requirement here.

5. A birth certificate and a proof of citizenship

We’ve got posts on how to procure both of these items. Here are instructions on how to get a copy of your birth certificate and proof of citizenship.

Back Side of Croatian National ID Card
Image by SibenikIN


For the standard application, your national ID will be ready within 30 days. You must pick it up within 120 days from submitting the request for the standard application, within 100 days for an accelerated procedure and within 93 days for an urgent procedure. Otherwise, your ID card will be canceled and you will have to submit a new application.

For children, the request for an ID card must be submitted by a parent or a legal representative. For people without the legal capacity (called “poslovna nesposobnost”), a legal representative can submit the request.

Osobna electronic chip

The ID card has a built-in electronic chip which can contain 2 types of electronic certificates:

  1. An identification certificate – It is used for electronic confirmation of your identity and electronic services usage. You can use your electronic ID card to access the e-Građani web application.
  2. A signature certificate – It is used as the electronic version of your signature. You can use an electronic ID card to verify your documents online.

Electronic ID card activation

When you pick up your ID card, you’ll receive an initial password and PIN for its activation. The activation procedure can be done via e-OI web portal.

After logging in, you must change the initial password and install a free software package. The final step is to activate your card and change the initial PIN. After this, your ID card is ready for electronic usage.

You can find video instructions for electronic ID card activation here.

Renewal and Changes

If you need to renew your osobna or change the address listed, you must go to your local administrative police stations. These tasks cannot be performed within the e-Građani system.

Travel with your national ID card

Croatian citizens can travel using their national ID card within the EU, passport-free, thanks to the biometric chip. National IDs for non-citizens do not include this chip.

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10 thoughts on “How to apply for a national ID card (osobna iskaznica)

  1. Stephen Payne
    December 31, 2019 @ 5:55 am

    Hi Marija,

    I live outside of Croatia, but I would like to apply for a national ID card. If I already have a Croatian passport, would I still need to provide a birth certificate and domovnica at the police station? Surely a Croatian passport is sufficient proof of Croatian citizenship?



    • Expat in Croatia
      January 7, 2020 @ 5:47 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      Your passport will be sufficient. 🙂




      • Leandro Bilokapic
        January 27, 2020 @ 2:30 pm

        Hello! thanks for all this good information. I’m on the way to the police with my croatian uncle (I’m from Argentina with croatian passport) going to start id card papers (because I’m searching for a job) sometimes its hard to me understand it all and it’s nice to read some English information. I will see now! thanks


        • Expat in Croatia
          January 27, 2020 @ 5:53 pm

          Hi Leandro,

          Great, happy to help with English resources. Good luck!




  2. Davor
    February 4, 2020 @ 2:14 am

    Hi every one
    is Croatian ID card will expire with your date of birth date ?


    • Expat in Croatia
      February 7, 2020 @ 2:20 pm

      Hi Davor,

      Not necessarily. Usually the expiration is related to the date you received your osobna.




      • Muma Mohamed
        April 26, 2020 @ 11:04 pm

        Hi Sara my husband is from Croatia he been in London nearly 6 half year his ID is exped from last year can you please tell us what we need to do we can’t go to Croatia now look what happing his got his eu statements


        • Expat in Croatia
          April 27, 2020 @ 3:22 pm

          Hi Muma,

          Embassies and consulates are not allowed to issue osobna iskanica for citizens. Your husband will need to come to Croatia to renew his ID. In the meantime, he can travel on his passport.




  3. Meriza monopoli
    May 6, 2020 @ 5:18 pm

    Hi Sara
    My Osobna Carta expires on 1st June 2020. I am in London at the moment in lockdown. Don’t know how long it will last! I usually spend 7 months of the year in Korcula. Can I renew my ID card at the local police station even if it’s expired, when I am finally able to travel to korcula?


    • Expat in Croatia
      May 8, 2020 @ 2:19 pm

      Hi Meriza,

      Yes, you’ll be able to renew your osobna at your local police station once you return to the country.




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