New design and new functions are what we can expect from the new citizen card. Learn more about the changes in this section dedicated to answering consumer questions.


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The citizen card will have a new shape. But the news doesn’t stop at the design, it also goes through the technology. The “new” card will have additional functions, such as contactless technology through the use of a chip.

It is also planned to increase the security of the identification data contained in the card. The replacement is expected to begin in the last quarter of this year, but the process will be gradual. You can continue to use your current card until it expires, and only when you need to renew it will you be entitled to the updated card.

The contactless system has rapidly spread to bank cards and is now coming to ID cards. The goal is to replace the use of a card reader with a proximity reader. Although the possibility of machine reading is still functional and will probably remain the only option in certain services.

In terms of design, the changes are minor: the chip will be moved to the back of the document, the contactless code will be added, the font and photo will be enlarged, and the name on the document will also be written in English.

The translation of “citizen card” is intended to make this ID document more easily accepted internationally.

But there is also news regarding payments: the first card issued for the first months of life of newborns will be free of charge, but there is no date set for this measure to come into effect.

The truth is that in recent years we have seen several new developments, including the online renewal of the card (from 25 years old), changing the digital signature or the fact that those under 25 have an extended renewal period.

For those under 25, the citizen card is valid for five years. After that, the cards will be valid for 10 years if they are issued before August 13, 2021. After that, they will be valid until August 3, 2031, as they will have to comply with security standards and the European Union model.

Even if your card is lost or stolen, the expiration date will remain the same because you will not receive a new card, but a duplicate.

To renew it, go to an IRN counter, a Citizen Space or Loja do Cidadão, in the Azores to a RIAC (Rede Integrada de Apoio ao Cidadão) shop and, if you are outside Portugal, to a Portuguese consulate. Although it is not mandatory, it is always advisable to book the renewal in advance.

If you need an urgent renewal, you can use the provisional card – which lasts 90 days – if you can prove the urgency. A normal renewal takes an average of seven working days.

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