Living in France For Members

Identité numérique: What is the new French digital ID and do you need one?

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected] • 16 Apr, 2023 Updated Sun 16 Apr 2023 08:47 CEST
Identité numérique: What is the new French digital ID and do you need one?

When using French administration services, you are increasingly likely to be asked for your 'Identité numérique' - here's how this digital ID system works and who can use it.


The digital ID, known as 'Identité numérique La Poste' is basically an extra security check that certain government-run online services are using.

It's run through an app and users can set up an account by providing a lot of details and ID documents, and having their ID verified, and then use this app any time they want to connect to high-security services. Setting up the account is fiddly and time-consuming, but once you have done it once it will save you time in every subsequent login to admin services.

It works as a two-step verification - when trying to login to a secure site, you will get a notification on the Identité numérique app and have to enter your passcode to continue. 


It's an enhanced version of the FranceConnect service, which many people use for simplified online processes - and on some sites you can no longer use the basic version FranceConnect, but must instead use the digital ID.

If you cannot use Identité numérique or don't want to, you can still log in to government sites using the longer process.

Who can use it?

First things first - it's not available for everyone. You need a French address and phone number and one of the following; a French passport, French ID card or titre de séjour for five years or more.

It therefore cannot be used by second-home owners and recent arrivals who have a one-year titre de séjour. Either type of post-Brexit titre de séjour (the five-year card or the titre de séjour permenant) can be used for this process.

The verification process is also via an app, so it's not available to people who don't have a smartphone.

You can only use this service if you have either a French passport, French ID card or titre de séjour for five years or more

How does it work?

You set up an account on either the app - find it in the app store named L'identité numérique - or the website but you will need to download the app once you start using the service.

The process of setting it up can be quite time-consuming, so this is one task to save for when you have a spare hour.

You click on 'crée votre identité numérique' and then fill in the details asked for such as your name, address, phone number, nationality and place and date of birth.

Be warned - these details must match exactly the piece of ID you will be using to verify your identity, if there is any discrepancy your application will be rejected, so use middle names exactly as they are used on the ID and the same spelling of your place of birth etc. 

You will need to supply both an email address and a phone number, and a code will be sent to each of these to verify them.



The next step is adding details on the ID you are using to prove your identity - for most foreigners in France, this will be their titre de séjour.

Add in the details exactly as they are on the card, plus the card number (the mixture of numbers and letters along the top of the card).

Checking ID

Because this is an enhanced security service, your ID must then be checked to ensure that it's really you; you have two options for this, either in person at your nearest La Poste or online via a webcam - click here for full details on how to do the online ID check.

Whichever method you choose, the ID check will take some hours (if online) or possibly days (if you need to go to the post office) but once you have confirmed which option you are using, the app or website will save your application.

Once your ID is verified, the approval will automatically be delivered to L'identité numérique, which will then decide whether you are approved or not.

You will be emailed when your application is completed, and check your spam folders as well.


If you fail approval (usually because there is a discrepancy between the details on your ID and the details you have entered) you don't have the option to simply alter the details, you must cancel your application and start the whole process (including ID check) again. 

What can you use it for?

Is it actually worth going through this fairly time-consuming process? Currently, not many services use it, but it's being rolled out to more websites, so even if you don't need it now you might in the future.

At present you can use it for a quick connection to Mon Compte Formation (the annual training budget for employees), the tax office, requesting new or altered car registration documents (carte grise) or calculating your French pension.

You can also use it for connecting to La Poste services or La Banque Postale if you have an account.

The app also provides a QR code that you can use to collect parcels at the post office.  


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robert.evans 2023/02/16 18:17
In your informative piece today (16 February) on the new "identite numerique), you say that the ID that applicants will use "for most foreigners in France .... will be their carte de sejour." But will it? Tens of thousands of EU citizens (in my case Irish) have no carte de sejour because they don't need them. In fact, my attempts to get one after 22 years of residence have been brushed aside by the bureaucracy for that very reason. So it would seem that EU citizens will be disadvantaged in relation to Brexit Brits by the new procedures. Surely this was not the intention?
local_456688 2023/02/16 18:16
Alas, I seem not to be eligible as I am here on an Italian passport and haven't bothered to apply for a titre de séjour as it's rather redundant and I have my own buisness. However, my husband, who was able to get his titre de séjour as the american husband of an EU citizen both residing in Paris. So he's eligible but not me!

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