Activate Your Citizen Card

Prerequisite: Card Reading Device

All card reader models fulfil the legal requirements for using Citizen Card functionality.


  • Info about security classes

    The higher the security class, the more secure the card reader is:

    Class Feature Security Price (starting from)
    1 no keyboard, no display --- approx.
    € 7
    2 keyboard, but no display PIN cannot be read approx.
    € 40
    3 keyboard and display Final check of signed document is possible (not yet supported by the Citizen Card) approx.
    € 80

    The keyboard on the card reader makes it impossible e.g., for a virus to record the PIN that is entered. The PIN is not transmitted to the computer at all. An additional display is used to check the signed documents. This prevents viruses e.g. from showing anything else other than the document that was actually signed.

Options for e-card Activation

There are various alternatives to activate your Citizen Card for free. Find all options listed below!

Benefits of the Card

  • Easily manageable (change PINs, etc.)
  • Ideal for frequent usage
  • Free of charge

Note: Card reading device required

How Does it Work in Practice?

An example illustrating the usage of the card in practice


Security and privacy play a central role in the Citizen-Card concept.

  • The Citizen Card is one of the most secure methods to identify oneself on the Internet. Only the correct combination of the two factors – by name knowledge (PIN) and possession (e-card) - allows a successful login to an e-service or effects an electronic signature.
  • In addition, sophisticated cryptographic methods prevent centralized access to sensitive data of citizens so that the strict legal rules on data protection are met.

More information on security