How to activate the eID on your residence permit

You can use your residence permit as an eID, but this feature is not 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.

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

How to activate your eID

1. Check if your eID is activated

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

If you received your residence permit by mail, the eID is not activated. If you picked it up at the Ausländerbehörde, it’s sometimes activated.4

After you apply for your residence permit, you will get a letter with a PIN for your eID. It arrives 2 weeks before your new residence permit.3

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.
Sources and footnotes

  2. Reddit, Reddit, Reddit 

  3. Reddit 

  4. Multiple relocation consultants (November 2023)