cartao de cidadao

Citizen Card

I live in the USA and am a portuguese citizen. I need a portuguese Citizen Card. What do I need to do?

You need to visit the Consulate and present the following documents:

  • For renewal:

You need to bring the previous Portuguese Citizen Card or ID (Bilhete de Identidade).

The applicant should present all cards that are going to be replaced by the Citizen Card in order to be cancelled. If you only have an ID card (Bilhete de Identidade), or Citizen Card, only this one should be presented.

  • For first time applicants, or for lost or stolen cards:

The applicant should bring at least a valid photo ID, Portuguese or American.

The Citizen Card is only issued on behalf of Portuguese Citizens. An American Citizen cannot obtain a Portuguese Citizen Card.

Specific Situations:

  • Children under 12 need to be accompanied by the Mother, Father, Sibling, Grandparent, or Legal Guardian*.

* Proof required

  • Children over 12 years old or adults who have no identification document (Portuguese or American) should contact the Consulate in order to have their case examined.
  • Judicially interdicted or mentally disabled person must be accompanied by an adult identified with a Citizen Card, ID (Bilhete de Identidade), or proof of consular registration, along with a legal document indicating the identity of the respective legal guardian.

What is the cost of a Citizen Card?

Accepted cash only. If requested through a Mobile Consulate Service, a 15% extra fee applies.

Other costs:

The change of the delivery location or the change of your home address have a separate cost.

What do I need to do in order to pick up my Citizen Card?

The Citizen Card must be picked up by the applicant, regardless of the age. When picking up the card at the Consulate, you will also receive a PIN Letter. The PIN Letter must be kept until the end of the validity of the card. The card may also be picked up by the person designated by the petitioner who must sign an authorization at the time of application.

Do not make a confusion between the PIN Letter and a letter from Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira. See more here.

Children under 12 need must be accompanied by the person who has custody, properly identified with a valid Portuguese or American photo ID. If the minor is not able to visit the office, the Citizen Card may be picked up by the parent or legal guardian (who must bring the minor’s respective PIN Letter).

It is possible to request the Citizen Card in Portugal, or at any other Consulate, and later activate and pick it up at another Consulate.

After the PIN Letter is issued, the applicant has one year to pick up the Citizen Card. If the citizen Card is not picked up within that period, the applicant must repeat the entire process and make a new payment.

The activation of the electronic signature is not mandatory and it is only available to citizens over 16 years old, at the time the card is picked up or at a later time, upon presenting the Citizen Card and the respective PIN Letter.

 But what is exactly the Citizen Card?

The Citizen Card works as the previous Portuguese ID Card (Bilhete de Identidade) but it is more modern and complete. It is a multifunctional identification document, issued as a smart card, with an integrated chip. The Citizen Card replaces and gathers in the same card the various identification documents that were usually carried separately:

  • Portuguese ID Card (Bilhete de Identidade)
  • Social Security Card
  • TaxPayer ID
  • National Public Health System Card

What are the advantages of having a chip along with my electronic identification, on my Citizen Card?

The Citizen Card allows:

  • Electronic authentication within public and private services;
  • Transmission of personal identification information in the contacts with the Public Administration or in transactions authorized by the card owner,
  • Digital signing of documents, using the digital certificate equivalent to a handwritten signature.

How long is a Citizen Card valid for?

If the card holder is under 25 years old, the period of validity is 5 years.
From 25 years of age, the period of validity is 10 years.


May the Citizen Card be used as a travel document within the European Union?

Yes, the Citizen Card may be used as a travel document throughout the European Union and also in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland (please refer to


Additional information

For more detailed information please visit the website