French National ID card

1. The Secure French national ID card (CNIS)
2. Extension of the CNIS’ validity period
3. Required documents
4. Minor children
5. Schedule an appointment


Despite more than 150 time slots dedicated for passport and national ID card appointments, be advised that there is over a month’s wait for obtaining an appointment. We ask you kindly to please take this into consideration when applying for identity or travel documents.


We would be grateful if you cancelled your appointment when you cannot attend it, so that your time slot could open up for another person. The Consulate General is doing its best in diminishing these delays. For more information and to obtain an ID card appointment, click here.)

Moreover, shipping delays and manufacturing of the national identity card in France are at least eight weeks.

Please note, identity cards issued to adults after January 2, 2004 are now valid for fifteen years from the date of automatic line délivrance.
It is useless to go to the Consulate , the 5 -year extension of the validity of your card is automatic. It requires no special approach. The validity date printed on the title will not be changed.


1. Secure National ID card (CNIS)

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The French national ID card is an official document which allows citizens to justify their identity and, for as long as 2 years after its expiration date, their French nationality. It is not an obligatory document, is provided free of charge (except for in case of loss, theft, or disappearance of the former card), and is valid for 10 years.

When abroad, the ID card is delivered or renewed by the head of chancery at the Consulate to those registered on the List of French nationals living abroad. In case the applicant is not registered at the moment he or she files for an ID card, the person will be automatically added to the register, in compliance with the rules.

For French citizens living in the consular circumscription, demands for a secure national identity card (CNIS) are reviewed by the Consulate General of France in New York. Printing and issuing the card, however, is done in France. Hence, this centralized procedure may take up to 8 weeks, between applying for the ID card and retrieving it.

Every application must be done in person, in order to:

- identify the person and

- take a digital fingerprint of the left index finger (or the right one if necessary).

After the ID card is issued, the individual is invited to retrieve it in person at the Consulate General of France in New York, or from the closest honorary consul to his or her residence.

Older national ID cards (cardboard paper) remain valid until their expiration date.

2. Extension of the CNIS’ validity period

As of January 1st, 2014, the validity period for the National Identity Card is extended from 10 to 15 years for adults over 18.

The 5-year extension applies to:

- New secured identity cards (plastic cards) issued after January 1st, 2014 to adults over 18.
- Cards issued since January 1st, 2004 are automatically valid for 15 years, with no specific action needed on the ID holder’s part. In other words, the card of a person who was over 18 at the time the card was issued, with an expiry date of April 23, 2014, will in fact be valid through April 23, 2019.

WARNING : This extension does not apply to secured national identity cards issued to minors. These will be valid for 10 years after the date of issue.

There is no need to go to the Consulate if your ID card was issued between January 2, 2004 and December 31, 2013, and you were over 18 at the time. The 5-year extension of your card will be automatic. It does not require any specific action on your part. The expiry date indicated on the card will not be modified.

If you wish to travel abroad, it is advised to do so with your passport, as all countries do not recognize the CNIS extension.
For more information visit

3. Required documents

In order to simplify the administrative procedure, justifications of (b) ID, (c) civil status and (d) nationality specified below are no longer required when the applicant presents one of the following:

- an electronic or biometric passport;
- or an old secured national ID card (plasticized);
- or a non-secured passport, valid or expired for up to 2 years maximum.

In any of the above cases, no civil status or French citizenship justification will be required. Only documents in following sections (a), (e), (f), (h) and (i) will be necessary.

(a) An application form, completed and signed onsite.

(b) One justification of identity among the following:

- For a renewal, the former national ID card (if it is missing, the applicant must pay the chancery fee according to the current exchange rate);

- For a first-time request, an ID card or any other official document bearing a photo.

(c ) A civil status justification among the following:

- an extract of the applicant’s birth certificate, with filiations;

- ➢ or, if it is missing, a full copy of the applicant’s birth certificate;
● birth in France or in a French overseas department or territory: you should contact the municipality you were born at (some municipalities accept online requests: go to for more information and the list of such municipalities);
● birth abroad (birth certificate issued by a French embassy or consulate, or reconstituted by the Civil Registry Central Services in Nantes): contact the Civil Registry Central Services directly;

(d) Proof of French citizenship among the following:

- if the applicant was born in France and at least one of his/her parents was born in France, the civil status justification provided in section (b) will be sufficient;

- or a full copy of the birth certificate, mentioning the person is of French nationality;

- or a declaration of acquisition and registry of the French citizenship;

- or a naturalization or restoration certificate of French nationality (a duplicate copy, an Official Journal edition, or an official document from the Ministry in charge of naturalizations);

- or a judgment certifying the person belongs to the French nationality;

- or a certificate of French citizenship.

(e) Proof of address of the following:

- proof of property ownership, or rent lease;

- or a rent slip, electricity bill or gas bill;

- or proof of house insurance;

- or, for students who live in student dorms, an official, stamped letter mentioning they reside in the United States.

- or a visa or green card or other ID card delivered by the American Authorities with mention of the current U.S. address.

(f) 2 ID photos (please write the name and surname of the person on the back of each photo)

For more information on ID photo norms and regulations, please go here.

Attention, not respecting this format will entail a refusal of your request for a national ID card.

(g) In case of loss, theft, or disappearance of the former national ID card, a declaration of loss or theft.

(h) In case of loss, theft, or disappearance of the former national ID card, payment of chancery fees (according to the current chancery exchange rate):

- directly at the Consulate: in cash (please bring the exact amount);

- by mail: using a credit card number given on an authorization form.

(i) In case you should retrieve the ID card from an honorary consul, 2 envelopes:

- one prepaid “express mail” or “registered mail” envelope. The ID card will be sent in this envelope to the closest honorary consul to your residence, and he or she will be in charge of delivering it to you.

4. Minor children

In addition to the documents mentioned above, a request for a national ID card requires the authorization of a legal representative. In order to justify the legality of the minor’s representative, please provide the following:

- for married parents or concubines:

● minor’s birth certificate bearing the name and surname of the parents (the certificate provided in section 2 may suffice);
● or a copy of the family record book (livret de famille);
● or a joint declaration.

- for separated parents:

● a copy of the legal judgment concerning parental authority;
● or a proof of separation, bearing the conditions of parental authority.

- for a third party who has parental authority over the minor:

● a copy of the justice decision for loss of parenthood;
● or of the decision authorizing the delegation of parental authority.

- for minors under custody:

● or of the judge’s designation of custody

If there is a disagreement among the parents, only a written contestation by one of them would discontinue the request.

5. Schedule an appointment

In order to improve public reception and reduce waiting delays at the Consulate, an appointment scheduling system was implemented on March 15, 2010, for national ID card requests. To schedule an appointment, click here.

Last modified on 19/01/2017

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