Expired identity cards
Identity cards must be renewed in each of the following cases:
- The validity period has expired.
- The photo on the ID card no longer resembles the person.
- The card is damaged.
- Change to a person’s surname, first name or sex.
- The person lives in a bilingual community and wishes to have an identity card in another language.
Three months before the end of the validity period, the person is required to register with the local authority to apply for a new identity card.
The following must be submitted with the application:
- A recent identity photo.
- The identity card to be replaced or, failing that, any other document proving the person's identity.
Carrying an identity card is compulsory from the age of 15, subject to criminal penalties by law, and therefore every effort is made to provide citizens with a valid identity card before their previous card goes out of date. Moreover, the local authority cannot extend the validity of the identity card as these data are protected on the card itself and registered in the Register of ID cards. The processing time for applications is 3 weeks.
There is a fast-track procedure for electronic identity cards. This procedure is much more expensive than the standard procedure.
This fast-track procedure is useful for citizens who have lost their card or had it stolen, and are preparing to travel to a country that accepts electronic identity cards as a travel document.
If citizens have a valid passport, this can also be used as a travel document. In this case, it is not necessary to submit an application via the fast-track procedure.
Not being in possession of a valid identity card is punishable by a fine of between EUR 26 and EUR 500 for Belgians living in Belgium.
For EU nationals who are not Belgian nationals
EU nationals who are not Belgian nationals must also hold a valid identity card or passport in Belgium, otherwise a criminal fine of up to EUR 500 may be imposed during a police check. In some cases, a passport which has already expired for some time (1 to 5 years) can also be accepted (for more information, see the national declarations for the 1957 Council of Europe Treaty No 25). However, even without these documents, as EU nationals, you continue to enjoy freedom of movement if you can prove your nationality and identity in another way.
Royal Decree of 25 March 2003 (Moniteur Belge of 28 March 2003) on identity cards
Law of 19 July 1991 on population registers, identity cards, aliens’ cards and residence documents.
FPS Home Affairs
Directorate General for Institutions and Population
Address: Rue des Colonies 11, 1000 Brussels
Email: Helpdesk.Belpic [at] rrn.fgov.be
FPS Home Affairs
Local authority where the person is entered on the population register