If you plan to apply for a national ID card for the first time, you’re probably wondering where to start.
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.
More information on prebivalište and boravište is available here.
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.
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)
Opis plaćanja: Naknada za osobnu iskaznicu
Model: HR65 7005-442-OIB
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
UPDATE valid from August 2021: New national ID cards are going to be implemented starting from August 2021. New ID cards will include biometric identifiers that refer to face view and fingerprints of both forefingers. They will enable digital signatures via mobile phones and tablets.
New ID cards will be valid 5 years from the day of issue. For persons older than 70 years, the validity is 40 years.
Parents will be allowed to submit requests and take over ID cards for their children.
Persons with prebivalište in Croatia older than 16 who have permission from the court to get married are now obligated to have ID cards.
NOTE: ID cards that are issued due to the law from 2015 with a validity period of 5 years and due to the law from 2002 with the validity period of 10 years will continue to be valid. ID cards issued to persons with 65 years of age will expire in August 2031. ID cards issued without the expiry date due to the law from 2002 will continue to be valid. ID cards issued without the expiry date due to the law from 1991 won’t be valid anymore.
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.