Population Register Centre and Police of Finland: New alternatives for applying for an identity card and changes to the use of the card
The new identity card act will enter into force on 1 January 2017. From that date, a Finnish citizen staying abroad can apply for an identity card at those Finnish embassies or consulates which provide passport services. The application should be filed at the embassy or consulate in person, it cannot be submitted electronically.
However, not all identity card types can be applied for at Finnish embassies or consulates, but only a Finnish citizen's regular identity card. Applications for a minor's identity card, a foreigner's identity card or a temporary identity card should continue to be filed at the police department in the future.
Identity cards will not be delivered directly to collection points abroad, but customers will have to collect them from embassies or consulates.
The use of identity cards will change in addition to their appearance. In the new identity card, the chip will be on the reverse side. The Population Register Centre will provide the chip with an electronic citizen certificate. The certificate can be used for identification for different online services, for encrypting email messages and documents and for writing electronic signatures. The chip of the new card will also be remotely readable, which means that a separate card reader will not be needed but the card can be used with smartphones that have the NFC feature (Android). A mobile application for Apple mobile devices will be launched in 2017.
With the new identity card, the activation of the PIN will also change. The new card will be accompanied by an "activation PIN letter," indicating the 8-digit activation PIN of the card. The activation PIN allows the user to set PINs of their choice for the card (PIN1: 4–12 digits, PIN2: 6–12 digits) If the PIN is locked for some reason, the user can reactivate it using the activation PIN indicated in the letter.
Health insurance information will no longer be marked on the identity card. Old identity cards provided with health insurance information can be used normally; the change will not affect their validity.