Home Travel & Adventure Iceland Innovates Travel: New ID Card Replaces Passport for Seamless EEA Journeys

Iceland Innovates Travel: New ID Card Replaces Passport for Seamless EEA Journeys


Iceland has launched new updated ID cards that can be used by all citizens of the country, regardless of their age, to travel within the European Economic Area.

Until now, citizens of Iceland had to present their passports when travelling in the EEA. However, since the new ID cards now include all the necessary information and are regarded as “travel documents,” they replace passports, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Identity cards that are travel documents can be presented within the European Economic Area (EEA) instead of a passport. The identity cards confirm the cardholder and nationality.

Registers Iceland

As the Icelandic authorities have explained. The new ID cards confirm the nationality of the holder, and they include a chip similar to that of passports. In addition, the new document follows international standards and EU regulations.

Main Characteristics of New ID Cards & Eligibility

The new ID cards, different from the previous version, include a larger photo of the holder to facilitate comparison for those checking the document.

In addition, the new ID cards are in a handy size and have an overall updated look.

As the authorities have highlighted, the new document also has enhanced security features. Its design is based on the new standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), with Iceland being the first country to start issuing ID cards in line with this standard.

Regarding the eligibility criteria for the new ID cards, the Icelandic authorities have stressed that the document will be available to all citizens regardless of their age.

This means that children will also now be able to obtain the new ID cards, omitting the need for them to hold a passport when travelling within the EEA.

Until now, the only valid identity card for children has been a passport, so it could be assumed that the new identity cards will simplify their reality, both for children and even for their parents and guardians.

Hildur Ragnars, Director of National Registry

Application for the new ID cards has already begun at the Country Magistrates, and from April 1, 2024, applications for the document can also be filed at embassies and consulates abroad.

The price of the ID card is just above €30 (ISK 4,600) for children, elderly and disabled people. On the other hand, the price of the document for those over the age of 18 is around €61 (ISK 9,200).

Number of Passport Applications Is Expected to Drop Slightly

Now that citizens of Iceland can use the new ID cards for travel within EEA, it is expected that the number of passport applications will drop slightly.

The drop in applications will not be very significant as Icelanders still need to hold a passport when travelling to other countries outside the EEA.

In February of this year, Iceland issued a total of 5,373 passports, a significantly higher number compared to the 3,850 passports issued in the same month last year.

On the other hand, in the previous 13 years, Iceland issued the highest number of passports in 2016, with a total of 71,510 documents being issued during that year.

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