Greek identity card
|Greek Identity Card|
Greek national ID card (front)
Greek national ID card (back)
Europe (except Belarus, Russia,and Ukraine)
Montserrat (max. 14 days)
|Type of document||
travel document in listed countries
|Eligibility requirements||Greek citizenship|
The authority handling the issuing is the Hellenic Police, and possession of this document is mandatory for all Greeks 12 years of age and older. Citizens are obliged to always carry it, and produce it at police's request; failing to do so may result in the citizen's identification at the nearest police station. A passport is considered of equal value to the ID card, when certifying one's identity.
The ID card is a valid travel document in Europe (except Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine), to Georgia and Turkey, and Montserrat (for 14 days in transit to a third country).  Moreover, it is also used to identify a person of citizens in local and EU elections. ID cards are valid for 15 years and the bearer's name is also typed in Latin characters since 2000. Older ID cards, written in Greek characters only, are still valid and of equal value, provided that less than 15 years have passed since the issue date.
Military staff, as well as personnel of the police, fire brigade, coast guard, and intelligent services, carry special IDs until retiring or exiting their services.
The front side includes areas bearing the holder's signature, a black and white photograph of specific standards, the blood type and rhesus, as well as data of the identity card (number, place and date of issue, issuing authority). The back side includes the surname, first name and the name of the legal ascendant(s) of the identity card holder with Greek and Latin characters, as well as date and place of birth, height, the municipality in which the holder is registered and the authority issuing the identity card.
Before 2005 the ID card was mandatory for citizens over 14 years of age, and included data which were removed after 2005 due to privacy concerns and / or because they are no longer considered necessary for the purpose of identification of the person:
- Name of spouse
- The index fingerprint of the right hand
- Eye and hair color
The Greek identity card is made of laminated paper, measuring 11 x 6.5 cm. As a means of preventing counterfeits, the paper on which it is printed bears a watermark, security thread and fluorescent overprint elements, but otherwise lacks security features (i.e. micro-chips, holograms) found in IDs of other countries. Nonetheless, Greece has the technology and the experience of printing high-security ID cards and driving licences.
Since 2010, Police Staff, Special Guards and Border Guards have high-security identity cards, that meet international quality standards. There had been unofficial talks of switching to a new ID type, one that could possibly bear the holder's social security number, a biometric photograph and other security features, sized down to that of a credit card. After the November 2015 Paris attacks, the Greek Ministry of Interior is now considering switching to the new ID type. On March 11, 2016 the Greek Ministry of Interior established a commission to create a plan for the new ids.Technical plans and draft legislation were prepared by June 2016. Based on reports the legislation will be enacted in 2017 followed by an open tendering process. Issuance of the new id card will start in 2019 In 23th of July 2017 the alternate Minister of Interior stated in an interview that an amendment has been filed with the Greek Parliament in order to amend the format with a ministerial decision. With Article 158, Law 4483/2017 the Minister of Interior was given the authority to add data of the holder that were not defined in law and to set any necessary detail regarding ids.  In 30th of April 2018 a ministerial decision was published in the Greek Government Gazette.This decision set out the relevant procedures regarding issuance and the design of the new IDs. Issuance is expected to start in the first semester of 2019. A process has been set out in order to change old IDs in a 5 year period based on the holder's surname.
Removal of religion and nationalityEdit
On May 8, 2000 in an interview published in newspaper Eleftherotypia, Minister of Justice Michael Stathopoulos announced that the mandatory inclusion of religion on identity cards was contrary to law 2472/1997 for the protection of personal data. The Church of Greece immediately objected to the removal of religion from identity cards, organizing rallies, among which a rally in Thessaloniki on 14 June, in the presence of Archbishop Christodoulos. The Public Order Minister announced on 17 July that religion be removed from the new identities. On September 24, 2000 the church began collecting signatures in the parishes, seeking a referendum. The petition was completed in April 2001, gathering more than 3 million signatures. On August 29, 2001 Archbishop delivered to the President of the Hellenic Republic Constantinos Stephanopoulos the signatures, but the president refused to receive them saying that "everybody has an obligation to comply with the laws of the State".
The State Council decided that the mandatory indication of religious affiliation on identity cards is not legal, while the Data Protection Authority also opposed to the optional reference to religion by adding the letters "XO" (Christian Orthodox - Χριστιανός Ορθόδοξος) following the signature of the bearer. The legality of collecting signatures was also questioned by the Minister of Justice Michael Stathopoulos.
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