Identity card for Belgians residing abroad
Published on 12 October 2021
Belgian embassies and professional consulates issue an electronic identity card (eID) to Belgians over the age of 12 who are registered with them.
An identity card is not valid indefinitely. For example, the validity period is 10 years for a person aged between 18 and 75 on the day of application. The eID remains valid if you move to a region with a different consulate or return to Belgium. Even if you have obtained the identity card from a Belgian municipality and then leave for abroad, it remains valid provided you have reported your departure abroad to the municipality in question.
Where to apply?
The rule is that you apply for an eID in person at the post where you are registered.
However, since 21 June 2021, there have been some further options: you can also apply for your eID at the Belgian municipality where you were last registered. If you were born in Belgium but have never lived there, you can contact your Belgian municipality of birth. If you are a Belgian national, but you have never lived in Belgium or even been born there, you can apply for your eID in any Belgian municipality.
After receiving it, you can activate your eID card. After activating the card itself, the functions on the card can be activated in order to be able to identify yourself when you log on to the Internet. This allows you to access the Belgian Government's online services.
Activation of these functions can only take place in the presence of the person concerned, even if he or she is a minor. You can do this at the Belgian embassy or consulate where you are registered in the consular population register. But you can just as easily do that at another consular post abroad or in a Belgian municipality.
Advantages of this card
It is a valid travel document for 50 countries and costs less than a passport. The card remains valid even in the event of a move to another professional consulate, to or from Belgium.