Save Time and Money – ID Card App Finally Makes Sense


Germany, an excellent example of successful digitization? Exactly the opposite is happening. However, the official ID app now makes it easier and can really pay off for you.

Good things take time, especially when it comes to a large digitization project in Germany. The new identity card was released in November 2010, its main characteristics: credit card format (ID-1 format) and RFID chip.

Personal data and personal characteristics can be stored there, namely a photo and two fingerprints. For a long time, the storage of fingerprints was optional, but they are only mandatory from November 2021, which is criticized by many data protection officers.

In practice, however, completely different problems arose for a long time: users needed a certified card reader to use the online identification function on the PC. You had to spend around 30 euros for it and you could hardly use the function anywhere because there were hardly any providers that accepted the online ID. But now there are many smartphones with NFC chips and the official ID app for android Yes iOS.

Use online identification

The logo indicates whether online identification is accepted, which is currently the case mainly for visits to authorities.

Image: chip

But what can you do with the online ID? On the applications home page you will find the “Provider” section and there is also an online one listing. There you can browse where you can use the online ID card, but it is mainly the authorities that integrate the function. This is also due to the legal requirement for online access. For example, you can use it to:

  • Submit BAföG applications
  • Apply for disability ID cards
  • apply for unemployment benefits
  • Get retirement information
  • apply for a driver’s license
  • Getting results in Flensburg

Wherever the online ID card is accepted, you should also find the corresponding logo, which is also used for the ID card application.

Online ID card requirements

You can test the functionality through the ID application.

Image: chip

The requirements aren’t too high, but a few things are needed for the online ID card to work:

  • The online identification function of the identity card is activated (from 2017 for all new Standard Characters)
  • The self-selected six-digit PIN code is known
  • The current version of the ID application is installed on the mobile phone
  • The mobile phone is NFC-enabled

The detail of each point is given in this Summary Support Page. It’s also worth a look if you want to use online identification with a card reader in Windows. Don’t worry, if you can’t unequivocally answer any of the items in the list above, the ID application will help you with a little verification.

Perform a functional check of the application ID

You’ll know in a minute if online ID works for you.

Image: chip

If you open the app and have your ID ready, the feature check only takes a minute. In the ID card app, tap “Verify device and ID”, then tap “Start verification”. Then you need to hold the person close to the cell phone, the right place is usually at the top back of the device.

Ideally, you’ll now see a large green tick and many smaller ones below that list individual features, such as NFC support or online ID enabled. Try pressing “Continue” if the data can be read. Select “View my data”.

Important now is the six-digit PIN code that you set yourself. If you know, confirm the request with “Yes” and write it down. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find it necessary to identify yourself with Governikus GmbH & Co. KG. The company develops the ID application on behalf of BSI.

After entering the PIN code, hold the ID close to the mobile phone again. A green tick followed by a list of your personal data indicates that everything went well.

Troubleshoot PIN issues

The PIN code is important for successful authentication, you can change it in the app.

Image: chip

The first attempts to use the identification application often fail because of the PIN code. You may have given them years ago and now you’ve forgotten them, or you haven’t given them at all.

What you need to have is a letter with a five-digit transport PIN. You can use App ID to set the six-digit PIN if you have the transport PIN.

No idea what the PIN could be and can’t find the transport PIN either? Then you need to go to the Citizens Office and set a new PIN or PIN reset letter there in this page apply for. Important, you must accept this letter personally. By the way, this also works if you haven’t activated the online identification function yet.

If your smartphone does not work, you can click she is ready check compatible models.

Turn your mobile phone into a card reader

You can turn your mobile phone into an NFC reader for your PC.

Image: chip

The online ID feature works quite easily on the mobile phone through the ID app. However, you can also use the online identity card on your computer. there’s one for that the Windows Is Mac version the ID application and you can turn your mobile phone into a card reader. However, this only works if the mobile phone and the computer are on the same WLAN.

The prerequisite is, of course, that the above functionality check has been successfully completed and that you know your PIN. On Windows, install the badge application and follow the installation wizard. Select “Yes” when it comes to setting up a card reader.

In the smartphone app, tap “Remote Access” and “Start Remote Access”. When you click “Start pairing”, the phone displays a code that you enter into the Windows application. If mobile phone and PC are linked, you should also do a little test here via “View my data”.

Download: AusweisApp2 for computer

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