How to activate the eID on your residence permit

You can use your residence permit as an eID. This allows you to log into online government services. This feature is not always activated. This guide explains how to activate it.

How the eID works

German ID cards have a chip in them. You can use your ID card and the AusweisApp to log into online government services. This is feature is called Online-Ausweisfunktion, eID, elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel or eAT.

Why you should activate your eID

To use online government services.1 Some services require an eID:

In Berlin, most services are not digital, or they don’t require an eID. Most new digital services require an eID.

If you don’t have eID, you must do everything in person. It’s slower.

How to activate your eID

1. Check if it’s activated

Some residence permits come with the eID feature already activated.4

Download the AusweisApp, and use your phone to scan your residence permit. The app will tell you if your eID already works.

Screenshots of the AusweisApp showing active and inactive eIDs
Left: an activated eID. Right: a deactivated eID.

2. Activate your eID

After you receive your residence permit, you can activate the eID function at the Ausländerbehörde:2

  1. Contact the Ausländerbehörde. There is no form or appointment category for this; you must use the general contact form. You can’t activate your residence permit at the Bürgeramt.
  2. Receive an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde.
  3. Go to your Ausländerbehörde appointment. The appointment only takes a few minutes.

If you pick up your residence permit at the Ausländerbehörde, ask if they can activate the eID function while you are there.

Sources and footnotes

  2. Reddit, Reddit, Reddit, Facebook 

  3. Reddit 

  4. Multiple relocation consultants (November 2023), reader feedback (January 2024) 

  5. Emily Archer (December 2023)