The Cartão de Cidadão Citizen Card in Portugal is about to change. The idea is to make it more similar to that of the other countries in the European Union. This change has been approved by the European Parliament and the European Council in a move to make the identification documents of all Member States being standardised.
The Citizen Card in Portugal is an obligatory identity document that provides holders with the right to work and live in the country.
There is not one single Citizen's Card, since the documents will always have some differences between them, but the plan at least is to approximate the format and content of the ID card across various countries. So how exactly is the Cartão de Cidadão going to change?
What are the main changes being made to the Cartão de Cidadão?
The documents will now include the EU flag, the photograph will change to be on the left and there will be more protection of card users' data, according to the latest information available. It will keep the same name in Portuguese, but its name in English will now become "Identity Card" instead of "Citizen Card".
There are not expected to be any modifications to the Citizen Card number format, so you will be able to keep the same Portuguese ID number if you already have one.
There are also changes in the technology related to the EU citizen card in Portugal. A common authentication and electronic identification mechanism will be introduced with the insertion of a contactless chip, so that it can be read automatically at all borders.
The new European regulation is due to be published this May and EU Member States will have two years to start circulating the new versions. But don’t worry, you won't have to rush to renew your citizen card or change your ID document immediately. The replacement will take place automatically when the Cartão de Cidadão is renewed and will not cost the taxpayer anything.
By 2020 or 2021 there may already be new cards circulating in Portugal, even before the date on which the country is obliged to adopt the new standard. It is up to each country to decide the best time to start doing so.