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What You Need

Here we explain in detail which requirements must be met so that you can successfully use the eID function.

Person holds smartphone with open AusweisApp2 and ID card in hand

Source: Governikus GmbH & Co. KG

Requirements

In order to use the eID function successfully, a number of requirements must be met. That is why we explain here in detail what you need to identify yourself securely online.

There are four points you need to check off before you can get started:

  1. 1.

    eID function is activated

    The eID function of your ID card or electronic residence permit must be activated. With the eID card, this is activated automatically.

  2. 2.

    Self-selected, six-digit PIN is known

    You must enter this PIN each time you authenticate online to enable data transmission.

  3. 3.

    AusweisApp2 is installed

    You can find options to download AusweisApp2 for your smartpohone, computer oder tablet here.

  4. 4.

    NFC-enabled smartphone or USB card reader ready at hand

    To identify yourself online, you need to read out your ID card with a suitable NFC-enabled smartphone or USB card reader.

How to meet the requirements

We explain below how you can put a check mark behind all points mentioned above.

1 - eID function is activated

To be able to identify yourself online, the eID function of your ID card or electronic residence permit must be activated. With the eID card, this is activated automatically.

How do I know if the eID function of my ID card is activated?

There are several ways to find out:

  • Your ID card was issued after July 2017. In this case, the eID function is also automatically activated for ID cards and electronic residence permits.
  • You use the "Check device and ID card" feature in AusweisApp2 on your smartphone and receive a positive result with a green check mark next to "eID function activated".
  • You go to your local public administration office to check whether the eID function of your ID card has been activated.

What if the eID function of my ID card is deactivated?

You have two options for having it activated:

  1. You can use the online service to activate the eID function, available here.
  2. You can activate the eID function at your local public administration office. You can find out the opening hours, contact persons, and responsibilities of the offices and authorities in your area by calling the public authority hotline 115 or on the Internet: http://www.behoerdenfinder.de.

2 - self-selected, six-digit PIN is known

Every time you identify yourself online, you must enter your self-selected, six-digit PIN to enable data transmission. If you do not know this PIN, there are several ways to set a PIN:

  1. If you have never set a self-selected, six-digit PIN for your ID card and you have your five-digit transport PIN at hand, you can easily and conveniently set a PIN in AusweisApp2 using the "Change my (Transport) PIN" feature. You will find the five-digit transport PIN in the PIN letter you receive in the mail after you apply for a new ID card.
  2. You can request a new PIN via the following online service: https://www.pin-ruecksetzbrief-bestellen.de/en. You request the new PIN conveniently online and accept your PIN reset letter as a “POSTIDENT” delivery in person or pick it up at the post office within seven working days.
  3. You set a new PIN for your ID card at the public administration office responsible for you. You can find out the opening hours, contact persons and responsibilities of the offices and authorities closest to where you live by calling the public authorities hotline 115 or on the Internet: http://www.behoerdenfinder.de.

3 - AusweisApp2 is installed

You can download AusweisApp2 for your laptop, smartphone and tablet. The possibility to download as well as information about compatible operating systems can be found here.

If you want to visit the website of a provider of the eID function directly via smartphone, it is sufficient to install AusweisApp2 on your mobile device.

If you want to use your smartphone as a card reader in combination with your laptop, the app must be installed on both of these devices.

If you use a USB card reader, you only need to install AusweisApp2 on your PC/laptop.

Notes on tablets

Of course, you can also use AusweisApp2 on your tablet. A few tablets are equipped with an NFC chip and can be used directly for reading the ID card. With most tablets, however, you have to use your smartphone as a card reader. We explain how this works here.

4 - NFC-enabled smartphone or USB card reader ready to use

To be able to transmit your details to a provider and identify yourself online, you need to read out your ID card. This can be done with suitable, NFC-enabled smartphones or suitable USB card readers.

An overview of suitable smartphones and USB card readers that you can use to read out your ID card can be found here.

Setting up the card reader

To ensure smooth use of your USB card reader, connect it to your laptop and open the settings in AusweisApp2. Under the item USB card reader, you can install any missing drivers if necessary.

Before you can use your smartphone as a card reader, you need to set this function up. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to do this in the following video.

Video: Using your Smartphone as a Card Reader