The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu

''Special" ID card to ''normal'' one.


I'm curious to know how long people have had to wait to be allowed to get a normal Belgian ID when giving in their ''Special'' one.

I know one person who got theirs immediately, but I have to wait 5 months from first application before I can give the commune a photo for a card (assuming I'm not denied a Belgian ID card).

The only difference between our situations is that we live in different communes. We are both British, both working and paying taxes in Belgium, both been here for nearly 2 decades, both married to EU employees (hence the special ID card).

I'm hoping there are other people who have applied for Belgian ID cards in the last year, having had ''special'' ones previously, who can let me know whether they had to wait or not in their communes. I live in Tervuren.

And was anyone actually refused a normal ID card?

Claire Wall

I went to try and exchange mine and was told that the "special" one I had was the best for me and that was that! It's a real Pain as would love one with a chip. Btw I don't live in the Brussels area so don't know if that makes a difference.

Feb 3, 2017 19:23

Have you applied for Belgian nationality by declaration? It will take a minimum of 4 months waiting for your nationality to come through and then a Belgian ID card takes 2-4 weeks to order.

This is the only way I can see you are going to get a Belgian ID card.

Feb 3, 2017 19:25

This is just for a Belgian ID card for an EU (British) citizen Just a bog standard ID card. It's not for Belgian nationality or citizenship.

Feb 3, 2017 19:50

Short of, that's not strictly true. If you arrive and start on a special id, as a consequence of your partners job, and then get a job of your own, you are supposed to transfer to a standard Belgian id card. I've done this and a number of my colleagues. We are all now on standard id cards, paying Belgian tax and social security.

Feb 3, 2017 21:00

Belgian ID cards are only available to Belgian nationals.

If you are not a Belgian national, you can apply if an EU national residing in Belgium for a Belgian residents card called an E-card, then after 5 years, if you have not done anything adverse, an E+ card.

You cannot have a Belgian ID card if you are not Belgian however.

It is a legal difference.

You may call an E card a Belgian ID card but it is not one.

Feb 3, 2017 21:03

Strictly then, you are correct - my card is a Belgian E+ , eID. But I suspect that is the information PB is looking for..

Feb 3, 2017 21:13

Hi, I had the same problem last year. It took quite some time for the EU to organise the papers I needed to take to my commune. However once I supplied the commune with the documentation, they were excellent and within a few weeks the new Belgian card was issued. I live in Waterloo.My husband works for the commission. I work part time for a British company and have done for 20 years but it's only when trying to re new the special ID this year it was refused. Good luck

Feb 4, 2017 11:39

To the original poster: what do you mean by "both working"? The "special ID" cards are for active EU officials and their spouses (plus children etc. but let's ignore the whole range of conditions for the sake of brevity), provided the spouse does not work in Belgium.

When an EU official retires or when the spouse of an EU official takes up employment that is subject to Belgian employment and taxation law, the pensioner's or the spouse's special ID card has to be handed in and you need to apply for a "normal" one, commonly called Belgian ID card but what's meant is the E or E+ card as already stated in various posts.

So it's not surprising that someone who works part time for a British company, with an EU official as her spouse, is refused the renewal of her special ID card.

If a spouse takes up work in Belgium or if the EU official retires, it should not take long to get a "normal" card from the commune, provided you have handed in the required paper work (proof of sickness insurance, proof of income/pension etc.)

If you are the legitimate holder of a special ID card and just want to change it into a normal one, without any change in your employment situation or marital status, it should not take much longer, provided your paperwork is ok, but these days some commune check your situation a lot more carefully than years ago.

Feb 4, 2017 15:26

PS: As to for you having to wait 5 months - that sounds as if there is something wrong. Did you check with your spouse's EU institution? As far as I remember, they have to start the process, i.e. send your special ID card to the Belgian ministry in question (interior? foreign affairs?).

Feb 4, 2017 15:30

I changed mine from 'special' to normal one 2 years ago in Tervuren. They told me that it would take 5 months, not to come back earlier! It did to the day. The excuse was a heavy workload at the Immigration office. HR told me at EU it is normal.

Feb 4, 2017 21:43