Teudat Zehut – Israeli Identification

Every Israeli adult is issued a Teudat Zehut (Israeli personal identification) upon turning 16. This document is made up of two parts – a card with personal information about the cardholder and a paper addendum (Sefach) which contains the personal information (name and ID numbers) of their immediate family members (spouse and children).

Israelis use their ID number (Mispar Zehut) freely and it is common to give out your ID number in even the most basic and public of forms. For North Americans who are used to keeping their personal information private, it is helpful to think of your Mispar Zehut as interchangeable with your name.

Below you will find a guide to getting your biometric Teudat Zehut and the timeline new Olim should follow after making Aliyah and receiving their temporary Teudot Zehut.

Temporary and Biometric Teudot Zehut

A temporary, paper Teudat Zehut is issued to new Olim at Misrad Haklita in Ben Gurion Airport upon making Aliyah. This document is valid for 3 months.

Olim must set an appointment with their local Misrad Hapnim and apply for a biometric Teudat Zehut as soon as possible. See below for instructions for booking this appointment.

It is recommended to book your appointment as soon as possible, to ensure you have your biometric ID by the end of the 3 months.

The biometric Teudat Zehut contains an image of the facial features and images of the fingerprints of the ID holder. This database of identification is intended to prevent fraud and identity theft. More about this here.

3 months after making Aliyah, all new Olim must hold a biometric Teudat Zehut, which they should carry with them at all times.

How to Apply for a Biometric Teudat Zehut

STEP 1:

Book an appointment at Misrad Hapnim for EACH person who needs a biometric Teudat Zehut.

CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment at Misrad Hapnim. You must have an Israeli cell phone number to book the appointment, as they will SMS you with the appointment time.

Note: The form is in Hebrew only! If you find the Hebrew challenging, we recommend asking a Hebrew-speaking friend for help or contacting your post-Aliyah advisor for assistance.

Note:
1. Soldiers (in uniform) can be processed without an appointment.
2. Someone who has a Teduat Zehut number (Ezrach Oleh, Ktin Chozer, Returning Resident or an A-1 Visa holder) can schedule an online appointment from abroad pre-Aliyah.
3. All citizens can schedule an appointment EVERYWHERE in the country and not necessarily only at their local branch of Misrad Hapnim.

STEP 2:

Go to Misrad Hapnim on the assigned day, with your temporary Teudat Zehut, and follow the instructions given to you there. Everyone who needs a Teudat Zehut must be physically present.

STEP 3:

Your Teudat Zehut will be couriered to the home address listed for you in the Misrad Hapnim files 7-10 business days after you applied for it. You must have an Israeli cell phone number as the Misrad Hapnim will confirm your contact information via SMS. You will need to give the courier a code, which was provided to you at the Misrad Hapnim meeting, in order for the courier to deliver your card.

STEP 4:

Diligently check your text messages for the message from Misrad Hapnim asking if you received your biometric Teudat Zehut. Following their directions, confirm receipt of your new ID card. Click here for detailed instructions on how to activate your biometric Teudat Zehut.

Lost or Stolen Biometric ID Cards

Given the significance of the smart ID card and according to the Population Registration Law, residents must ensure the retention of their ID in their possession and under their control at all times, carrying it with them at all times and must not allow anyone else to use it for identity authentication or signature unless by written consent.

In case of loss, theft or misuse of the card by another, the 24-hour call center must be notified immediately at telephone *3450 or the Population and Immigration Authority bureaus during reception hours.

In the event of not retaining an ID card, another person could impersonate the identity of the card holder and may be identified by his name to perform various actions, as well as for verification or a signature using the ID card. Residents will not be liable for any damage caused due to an act committed by another person without their written consent.

Information about Israeli biometric documentation:

In 2009, the Israeli Knesset enacted the ” Inclusion of Biometric Means of Identification in Identity Documents and in an Information Database Law”, 5770-2009 (the Biometric Database Law).

The law establishes arrangements to enable identification and authentication of Israeli residents by means of including biometric data in identification documents, in a manner that will prevent forgery and the use of a different identity.

The law regulates the establishment of a biometric database, which will be managed by a dedicated and separate authority: the Biometric Database Management Authority, and in which the biometric information will be kept in a secure and encrypted manner, separate from any other communication network, and in particular from the Population Registry. The database will not include any identifying information of the residents of Israel.

According to the law, smart documentation – ID cards and travel documents – will include the following biometric means and data: an image of the facial features and images of the fingerprints of both forefingers, which are means of identification intended of preventing fraud and identity theft.

The smart documentation, which includes many overt and covert security measures that cannot be forged, will provide its holder with personal security and peace of mind against document forging and against identity theft and impersonation. Other benefits include:

The smart ID card will allow its holders, should they wish to do so, to safely identify themselves online from home and save significant time and hassle when obtaining government services from government websites using a personal password (for electronic identity authentication).

The smart ID card will allow the use of certified electronic signature for those who choose it.
The new passport is at the global forefront of using sophisticated anti-counterfeit measures and is designed according to the standard of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) under the auspices of the UN. More than one hundred countries are already issuing passports and smart electronic travel documents under this standard. The technology embedded in the new passport will enable faster travel at airports and at border crossings in Israel and in the world and will facilitate the process of border control.

The Biometric Database Law states that initially there will be a trial period (pilot) of two years, during which, smart biometric identification documents will be issued for those who choose to obtain them, before the law is applied to all residents. In addition, the law states that during this period no data from the biometric database will be passed on, except to the Population and Immigration Authority for issuance of smart identification documents for those requesting them. At the end of the pilot, when the law will apply to all residents, under certain circumstances and under strict conditions set by the law, data from the Biometric Database will be transferred to the security authorities and the police only.

The trial period will end on March 1, 2017, at which point all Israeli documentation issued will be biometric.

Every resident or citizen who is entitled to receive an ID card or travel document (passport or Laissez-passer) may request smart biometric documentation at the bureaus of the Population and Immigration Authority around Israel. In the past, a person wishing to obtain an ID card or passport would have come to the bureau of the Population and Immigration Authority with passport photos taken in advance, however the photo for the smart electronic documentation is handled by the service provider at the bureau. The photographic procedure is quick and does not require any preparation in advance. The image will be transferred for issuing at the central database, and after authentication of the identity of the applicant and verification that this is not a case of double identity or impersonation, the smart biometric documentation with integrated photo will be issued.

  • A person wishing to obtain a smart biometric document must arrive at the Population and Immigration Authority bureau and identify himself using an existing ID card. In its absence, the applicant will present a passport or Laissez-passer. The applicant will sign a request form to receive smart biometric documentation and a letter of approval and consent, according to which he approves the taking of his biometric identification: an image of facial features, digital fingerprints of both forefingers, and their inclusion in the biometric database.
  • In addition, a process of authentication of the applicant’s identity will be carried out by means of several computer generated questions that will be asked by the service provider.
  • The service provider will then perform the procedure for photography facial feature photograph and electronic scanning of both forefingers of the applicant. The process of fingerprint scanning is quick and simple. The procedure is performed using an electronic scanner, on which the two forefingers are pressed for a few seconds. The scanning process of the fingerprints does not use ink, and the use of the instrument is not messy. In exceptional cases where scanning the fingerprints of the forefingers is not possible, for health reasons of the resident or for technical reasons, the applicant will be guided by the service provider how to carry out the scanning of the fingerprints.
  • Finally, the applicant shall sign a form detailing the manner in which the document may be used and the obligations imposed upon the holder as a smart documentation holder, such as preventing misuse of the document.
  • The biometric data will be encrypted and transferred to the biometric database to verify the identity of the applicant. The information will be stored at the biometric database in a secure and encrypted manner and will be deleted from the computers of the Population and Immigration Authority.
  • A smart ID card is produced at a central production site, and will be delivered to the applicant within ten business days of submitting the application, at a bureau of the Population and Immigration Authority of the applicant’s choosing. Upon the receipt of the card, the applicant will receive a personal password to operate it and an appendix containing their personal details. Notice of the arrival of the new card to the bureau will be sent to the applicant via text message (SMS).
  • Smart passports and any other travel documents will be sent to the applicant by registered mail within ten business days, and there will be no need to arrive at a Population and Immigration Authority bureau to receive it (as required in the delivery of smart ID card).
  • A resident or citizen age 16 years and over will be able to obtain a smart biometric ID card by personally appearing at a Population and Immigration Authority bureau, accompanied by a parent if they are married, or accompanied by both parents if they are not married.
  • A citizen under the age of 18 who wishes to obtain a biometric travel document (passport or Laissez-passer), must personally appear at a Population and Immigration Authority bureau at the time of the application, accompanied by one parent if they are married, or accompanied by both parents if they are not married to each other. The presence of both parents is required, as is currently done when issuing a passport, to identify the applicant for the purpose of submitting the application, and for signing the letter of agreement.
  • For applicants under the age of 12, only the process of photographing the facial features will be carried out, and fingerprints will not be scanned.
  • In any case, biometric measures will not be taken from an applicant under the age of 18 who does not wish to do so.

The decision whether to replace the existing identification documentation with smart biometric documentation is based on the voluntary consent of the applicant. Those who do not choose smart biometric documentation during the trial period (the first two years from the beginning of the project) can continue to receive the currently accepted identification documents and their rights will not be denied.

Until March 1, 2017 you can choose between a regular ID card and an advanced and safe smart ID card that cannot be forged. From that date, smart ID cards, which includes biometric measures and data that are unique to each person, such as facial feature image and images of fingerprints from both forefingers, as a means of identification intended to prevent fraud and identity theft, will be required. The new ID card, one of the world’s most advanced, guarantees that no one except yourselves will be able to use your identity.

The smart ID card is made of material called “polycarbonate” that gives it flexibility and durability under extreme conditions. Its size is similar to that of a credit card and it contains many overt and covert security measures that cannot be forged. When you receive the smart ID card you will also receive a personal password, and using a card reader you can quickly and easily perform online various activities on the websites of various government institutions, directly from home or from your PC. The smart ID card will give you personal safety and peace of mind from forging of the ID card and from identity theft and impersonating the ID card’s owner. In 2011 alone, more than 130,000 ID cards and more than 22,000 passports were lost or stolen in Israel. In many cases, the stolen cards are forged and are used to impersonate the card owner, to open fictitious bank accounts, to withdraw the discharge payment from bank accounts of discharged soldiers, to commit financial scams, and are even used by terrorist organizations for the infiltration of terrorists and for terrorist attacks.

Given the significance of the smart ID card and according to the Population Registration Law, residents must ensure the retention of their ID in their possession and under their control at all times, carrying it with them at all times and must not allow anyone else to use it for identity authentication or signature unless by written consent.

In case of loss, theft or misuse of the card by another, the 24-hour call center must be notified immediately at telephone *3450 or the Population and Immigration Authority bureaus during reception hours.
In the event of not retaining an ID card, another person could impersonate the identity of the card holder and may be identified by his name to perform various actions, as well as for verification or a signature using the ID card. Residents will not be liable for any damage caused due to an act committed by another person without their written consent.