A veritable multi-talent celebrates its 10th anniversary: the German ID card with its online ID function

In 2010, the ID card with the online ID function raised the bar for identity documents. For Bundesdruckerei, this was a major step towards becoming a supplier of IT security solutions and secure digital identities.

New ID document as a prerequisite for digitalization

1 November 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of this handy card. The ‘new ID card’, as it was referred to back then, is so much more than just a plastic card in credit‑card format.

A chip integrated into the card stores not only the photo but also the personal data printed on the ID card. Since 2010, this card has been used to identify its holder in both the analog and the digital world. Bundesdruckerei produces this electronic ID document on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI).

One of the biggest IT projects in Germany

The development of the new product was one of the biggest IT projects in Germany in 2010. Bundesdruckerei worked flat out to develop a complex system around the actual document and to modernize its entire production. A completely new production infrastructure with numerous special machines was used. Several thousand public agency offices were also equipped with new terminals and software. At the same time, an efficient service that included a call center was set up. Thanks to the enormous commitment and outstanding performance of Bundesdruckerei's staff, challenges were mastered and the project was a huge success. As planned, the new ID card in credit‑card format was launched on 1 November 2010.

Produktion Personalausweis

Production at Bundesdruckerei combines many years of expertise and state-of-the-art production lines. Personalized identity documents, such as the ID card, are produced here.

A secure key to the online world

A completely new security concept was created for the overall card design. The strictest security requirements for all processes and individual elements made this project a particularly challenging one. Ground-breaking innovations in security features were promoted and the integrated online ID function, an entirely new feature, offers holders a secure key to the digital world. The ID card was considered to be a technological leap in secure online identification. Even today, the card still sets standards worldwide, and work is already underway on the next generation.

Personalausweis Vorderansicht

The ID card with its online ID function features a security chip inside the polycarbonate card in credit-card format. With the online ID function, electronic identification and authentication are now possible on the Internet and at vending machines.

Since its premiere, the ID card has been the basis for many other innovations by Bundesdruckerei. In order to make the ID card and other sovereign documents the foundation for trusted communications on the net, Bundesdruckerei is working with research partners to develop new concepts for mobile identities. Projects like OPTIMOS 2.0 and ONCE are opening up future-oriented applications and are bringing the ID card onto the smartphone, literally paving the way for next big step towards user-friendliness and digital sovereignty.

The 10thanniversary of an ID card with the online ID function is certainly reason to celebrate.