How to apply for a national ID card in 2021 (osobna iskaznica)

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Osobna Iskaznica - Croatian National ID Card
Image by Ministarstvo Uprava

UPDATED: 7/10/2021

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. It is called “osobna iskaznica” or “osobna” for short. An ID card is legal proof of your

  • Identity
  • Croatian citizenship,
  • Gender,
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Residence status.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

What is an electronic ID card

In Croatia, new national electronic ID cards are implemented starting from August 2021. Electronic ID cards include biometric identifiers that refer to face view and fingerprints of both forefingers.

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

  1. 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. Signature certificate – It is used as the electronic version of your signature. You can use an electronic ID card to verify your documents online.

New electronic ID cards are valid 5 years from the day of issue. For persons older than 70 years, the validity is 40 years.

Who can apply for the ID card

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. [Read: Available visas and residence permits for Croatia]

If you do not live in Croatia but hold citizenship, you may apply for a national ID card using your foreign address. However, in this scenario, the ID will not be proof of residence.

Persons with prebivalište in Croatia older than 16 who have permission from the court to get married are now obligated to have ID cards.

Parents are allowed to submit requests and take over ID cards for their children.

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.

[Read: Prebivalište or boravište – two addresses that must be registered with the police]

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

For citizens living abroad, you can go to any police station in Croatia to apply for an ID card.

How to apply for an ID card

Step #1 Collect the documentation

When applying for an osobna, the first step is to collect the required documentation.

You must bring the following documentation with you to the police station.

Proof of payment

The fees for the cost of the procedure are as follows:

  • Regular procedure (ID card is ready within 30 days) – 100 kuna
  • Accelerated procedure (ID card is ready within 10 days) – 195 kuna
  • Urgent procedure (ID card is ready within 3 days) – 500 kuna
  • People older than 70 – 70 kuna

The ID card for children and people younger than 18 is free of charge if they use the regular procedure and have a residence in Croatia.

Payment can be made in person at a bank, FINA, Hrvatska pošta or via internet banking to:

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

[Read: How to pay bills in Croatia]

Proof of identity

You must enclose one of the following documents that prove your identity:

  • Old ID card
  • Other legal document with a picture
  • Parent’s statement for children without any identity document


The color photography must be of sizes 3,5 cm x 4,5 cm.

There are usually photo shops near each police station where you can pick up some photos in the correct size for around 100 kuna. Tell them that you need to take a picture for osobna iskaznica.

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.

[Read: How to apply for a Croatian passport]

Signed agreement

When you come to MUP to apply for the ID card, they will give you the contract to sign it. It is an agreement on certification services. This is a standard procedure and you don’t have to go anywhere else.

You may find information on this requirement here.

Birth certificate or proof of citizenship

You must bring a birth certificate or proof of citizenship if you don’t have an old Croatian ID card or a passport and you are not entered into the Croatian book of births.

[Read: How to get a copy of a birth certificate]

[Read: How to get proof of citizenship]

Old ID card

If you have a Croatian ID card whose expiration date has been expired, you have to bring this old ID card with you. The police will cancel it and then return it to you.

Step #2 Visit MUP

Visit MUP, i.e. administrative police station closest to your residence (prebivalište or boravište. Bring the collected documentation with you. Ask for the desk that is usually called “šalter za osobne” where you can apply for an ID card.

[Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]

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.

Step #3 Get your ID card

Your national ID card will be ready within:

  • 30 days for the standard procedure
  • 10 days for the accelerated procedure
  • 3 days for the urgent procedure.

You must pick it up within:

  • 120 days from submitting the request for the standard application
  • 100 days for an accelerated procedure
  • 93 days for an urgent procedure

If you don’t pick your ID card within the defined period, it will be canceled and you will have to submit a new application.

Step #4 Activate the ID card

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.

Step #5 Use the ID card

Your brand new electronic ID card is now ready for use!

Renewal and changes of personal data

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.

To pick up your new osobna, you must bring your old osobna to MUP. Otherwise, you won’t get your new osobna iskaznica. MUP will then cancel your old osobna and give you a new one. The process is the same as described in the previous section.

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.

What to do if you lose an ID card

If you lose your ID card, suspect of abuse or you find someone else’s ID card in Croatia, you must report the case to the closest MUP administration office. [Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]

If you are outside of Croatia, you can report the case to the closest Croatian embassy or consulate abroad. A list of Croatian missions and consular offices abroad is available here.

Based on the report of disappearance, MUP will declare the ID card invalid and suspense the digital certificates. If the ID card is found within 8 days, certificates will again be available for use. If the ID care is not found within 8 days, certificates are automatically revoked and can no longer be used.

If you are older than 70 and your ID card doesn’t contain digital certificates, you can continue with the use of the ID card if you have found it within 15 days after reporting the case to the police. In this case, you also have to notify the police that you have found your ID card.

Do you have a Croatian ID card?

Read about other legal documents


Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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32 thoughts on “How to apply for a national ID card in 2021 (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.




      • Sulistyo
        August 21, 2020 @ 7:45 am

        Hi Sara.. I have a question. I live in outside Croatia or another country. I m holding Croatian Passport. How can I make ID card and do I need another supporting Documents like birth certificate ? And can I make via online? Thank you.


        • Expat in Croatia
          August 21, 2020 @ 2:28 pm

          Hi Sulistyo,

          Thanks for the question! You can only apply for an osobna iskanica in person from within Croatia. It cannot be done online and it cannot be done at an embassy or consulate.

          You can use your birth certificate for the application.




  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.




      • David Rees
        November 25, 2020 @ 12:04 pm

        Hello Sara.
        My Friend is a Croatian National who lives with me, her I.D. Card expires in January 2021 but she cannot afford to return to Zagreb just yet to renew it because she is out of work and it will be a few months before she can put the money together to return so she can update her I.D. Card.

        Can you offer any advice please?


        • Expat in Croatia
          November 30, 2020 @ 12:04 pm

          Hi David,

          She may be able to give power of attorney to someone in Croatia to renew it on her behalf. If she doesn’t know anyone here, I can put her in touch with a vetted lawyer who can handle it. You may contact me for a referral.




  4. Anthony Curko
    August 5, 2020 @ 4:15 pm

    Bok bok
    I am flying into Croatia on August 15 from the US. I am a duel citizen, although my osobna expires August 6th. First question is will they allow me entry without prejudice with an expired osobna but valid US passport? I am trying to ensure easy access into Croatia
    Second question to confirm is I can only renew my osobna at the police station as from what I’ve read?


    • Expat in Croatia
      August 10, 2020 @ 10:00 am

      Hi Anthony,

      Thank you for contacting us!

      If your osobna is expired, then I recommend bringing a second document proving your nationality like a birth certificate or domovnica to be safe. If you enter as a Croatian, you aren’t subject to the current entry requirements imposed for third-country nationals. Just so you know, third country nationals must provide a negative PCR COVID test that is no older than 48 hours from the point of entry to avoid automatic quarantine.




  5. Darlene
    October 8, 2020 @ 6:53 pm

    Can you tell me if I can apply for an osobna karta in Canada (online)? I have my domovnica. I was hoping to have this done before we enter next year on our summer vacation and we have no problems on the border, if this pandemic continues. Or is it easier to apply for a Croatian passport here? I am assuming an osobna karta is better to have then a passport.


    • Expat in Croatia
      October 13, 2020 @ 2:34 pm

      Hi Darlene,

      You cannot apply for an osobna iskanica online. A passport can only be ordered online if you already have an osobna iskanica. I think if you bring your domovnica to the border when you travel next year, you will be allowed in. They will always let in citizens.




  6. Frank Lulic
    October 19, 2020 @ 9:15 pm

    Hi Marija,
    With regards to #4 of required documents, “A signed agreement on certification services”; where can this be procured? is this done at police station? i have not been able to find answer to this question from link provided.
    Thank you


    • Expat in Croatia
      October 21, 2020 @ 7:14 am

      Hi Frank,

      When you go to MUP to apply for the ID card, they will give you this contract to sign. It is a standard procedure and you don’t have to go
      anywhere else.

      If we can help further, please let us know. 🙂




  7. Cecilia
    January 18, 2021 @ 9:14 pm

    Hi Sara! I live in Croatia but my brother doesn’t. We are half bolivians, half croatians. He has his domovnica and passport but not the osobna iskaznica. As a relative can I make it for him at the police?


    • Expat in Croatia
      January 28, 2021 @ 12:11 pm

      Hi Cecilia,

      He needs to request it himself. You can only get it on someone’s behalf if they are a minor or disabled.




  8. Emilja Horne
    February 15, 2021 @ 2:07 pm

    Hi Marija and good morning

    I was born in Strmec in Croatia (or Jugoslavija as it was then) in 1949 to Croatian parents.

    In 1966 I came to England as an au pair and allowed to stay indefinitely and in 1980 to hold a UK passport.

    I have been married to an English person for nearly 40 years but we frequently travel to Croatia either to see my Mother who is still alive, my sisters or on holiday.

    My Jugoslavija passport expired in 1980 which I did not renew.

    Please advise if it is possible to obtain a Croatian passport and what documents are required.

    Yours sincerely



  9. James Bell
    March 23, 2021 @ 3:08 am

    My wife and I are both Croatian citizens (with Croatian passports) living in Peru. We are traveling to Croatia in August and would like to obtain Croatian national IDs while there. Does there exist a service we can hire to guide us in an expedited fashion?


    • Expat in Croatia
      March 25, 2021 @ 11:47 pm

      Hi James,

      If you’d like someone to accompany you to the police station who can simply translate, or if you would prefer a lawyer to accompany you, then that is something we can arrange for you. Please contact us if interested.




  10. Jason
    March 27, 2021 @ 10:33 am

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks for the information. I am living in UK and just received my Croatian citizenship letter. Must I travel to Zagreb to apply for my passport and ID card? Or can this be done online?

    No appointments available in UK before June 30 Brexit cutoff.

    Hvala puno,


    • Marija Tkalec
      April 6, 2021 @ 4:31 pm

      Hi Jason,

      congratulations for your Croatian citizenship!

      To apply for Croatian ID card, you must go to Croatia because embassies and consulates aren’t allowed to issue them. Go to the administrative police station closest to your permanent residence address (called “prebivalište”) or to your temporary address (“boravište”) in Croatia.

      If you do not live in Croatia, you may apply using your foreign address (but then the ID will not be proof of residence). In this case, go to any police station in Croatia to apply.

      You can apply for Croatian passport at the Croatian embassy or online (once you get an electronic ID card). See this post:



  11. Edi Zivkovic
    August 3, 2021 @ 1:25 pm

    Hi, my Osobna is due to expire in August but as I cant leave Auatralia at the moment is there any other way I can renew it? Thanks Edi


  12. Julia
    August 9, 2021 @ 2:10 pm

    Hello there,

    I’m a foreigner working here in Croatia. My residence was renovated for 10 years some months ago, but right after that, I changed both my address and job. I’m going this week to the police to update my address with my landlord. I would like to request an ID for foreigners, what do I need? Also, do I need to change my address in the residence too, and where else? There is just too much paperwork and I lose track of it.



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