Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Swiss identity card

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Issued by  Switzerland
Valid in  EEA/CEFTA states (except Kosovo) European microstates French overseas territories  Faroe Islands  Greenland (de facto)  Turkey  Tunisia (on organized tours)
Type of document  Identity card, optional replacement for passport (see above)

The Swiss identity card in its current form dates back to July 1994. It is in the form of a plastic photocard. It can be used as a travel document when travelling to EEA/CEFTA countries (except Kosovo), as well as the European microstates, the Channel Islands, Greenland (de facto), Turkey and on organized tours to Tunisia.



The Swiss identity card first introduced in 1955 was blue. After World War II European travel was starting to be more prevalent and the Swiss confederation also wanted to make it easier for Swiss citizens to identify themselves within everyday business operations like picking up parcels or registered mail from the post offices at the time.

The Swiss identity card was then modified in 1977 and it changed its colour to a more green/brown colour. Both the 1955 and 1977 series of Swiss identity cards were in a booklet format with the outer page on the 1955 ID card having the coat of arms of Switzerland, and then text in what were then the only three official languages of Switzerland: German, French and Italian.

When the 1977 version of the Swiss identity card was issued, the first issue was still printed in German, French and Italian. Later on, Romansch was added to the identity cards (along with English) after it became a national Swiss language in the new 1999 Swiss constitution that followed the 6 March 1996 referendum of Swiss voters.


It was planned to introduce a new identity card by the end of 2016. This would then have been available in four versions with the applicant choosing the version to be issued to them. There were plans for a basic version without electronically stored data, a version with electronically stored biometric data (photo and two fingerprints), a version with electronically stored credentials for e-government and e-business, and a fourth version which would have been a combination of the second and third versions.

However, on 13 January 2016 the federal Swiss government, when announcing the next steps to be taken for state-approved electronic identities, stated in a footnote that it does not expect the new identity card to be available before 2019. It sees no immediate need to have a biometric identity card available with a biometric chip.

The biometric version of the card will enable travel to Kosovo without a passport.


Swiss identity card Wikipedia