National Identity Card

The National Identity Card is an official document which allows any citizen to prove his identity, and his French Nationality as long as its validity has not expired. Possession of it is not compulsory; it is free and valid for 15 years (10 years for minors.

Since 1988, the national identity card is called secure national identity card (CNIS)

To which authority should one apply to procure a CNIS?

In France it is delivered by Prefects and Sub-Prefects.

Abroad it is delivered at the consular offices since 20th June 2005.

It takes about four weeks for the issued of the card in a foreign country.

One must first be enrolled in the register for French settled abroad. This formality can be undertaken at the same time when applying for CNIS.

Supporting documents to be provided

It is compulsory that the applicant comes in person to submit the application.

- two ID photos

  • recent
  • perfect resemblance
  • front view
  • bareheaded
  • size 35 X 45mm
  • light grey background

One proof of residential address among the following

  • Title deed of property or rent agreement
  • Rent receipt, gas or electricity receipt
  • Insurance certificate for the residence

One proof of identity and nationality among the following:

  • Valid National Identity Card
  • Valid passport, or expired less than two years back (only for purposes of identification),
  • extract of birth certificate; If these documents are not enough by themselves to justify the French nationality, the consulate may require the production of one of the following:
    • registered copy of the declaration of French nationality
    • complete copy of birth certificate specifically containing the mention about French nationality
    • decree of naturalization or restoration of French nationality (certified copy, copy of the Official Gazette or a certificate issued by the Ministry responsible for naturalization).
    • birth certificate that bears the words of the decree of naturalization or restoration of French nationality. If the CNIS is lost or stolen, the declaration of loss or theft of the earlier national identity card.

For more information please visit the site :

France e-diplomacy

Last modified on 25/01/2019

top of the page