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Birthplace to be removed from ID cards for citizens

18:43 17/02/2020

Another change is coming to Belgian ID cards for citizens: The birthplace will be removed from the front of the card. Considered unnecessary information to be able to see at a glance, the holder’s birthplace will still be visible via an electronic card reader.

The decision was made by the federal Council of Ministers, which also decided to scrap the signature of the civil servant who issued the card. The decisions were made based on recommendations by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization. Without the elements, the card will look cleaner, and crucial information will be easier to spot quickly.

This will also have the effect of not immediately identifying whether a citizen was born in Belgium or not, the symbolic equivalent of it being irrelevant in the checking of the ID card. The information is also, in fact, irrelevant for citizens born here as they often no longer live where they were born – or never did. The city reflected where the hospital was located in which the cardholder was born.

The changes must still be approved by parliament. If approved, this will be the second round of changes to the Belgian ID card for citizens this year. The first saw fingerprints added and the photo moved from the left to the right side of the card.

Photo: Jonas Hamers/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw



This would never be on the advice of anyone working in law enforcement. Place of birth is a useful tool for distinguishing between people of same name, especially since dates of birth for those born in developing countries are often recorded as 1/1/year which makes identify clarification harder. Will be a poor decision. Few identity cards in the EU lack place of birth for good reason.

Feb 18, 2020 08:35