Hong Kong Identity Card Renewal – Your HKID Complete Guide

  • Post category:Hong Kong

On arrival in Hong Kong, foreign nationals must apply for a smart identity card, also called a HKID, regardless of how long they intend to stay.

HKID is necessary for residential purposes. It is also a crucial document for commercial transactions and company incorporation in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong identity cards are the size of credit cards, and each smart identification card has a microchip integrated into it that contains personal information and thumbprints used for immigration.

hong kong identity card renewal

This allows foreigners to use automated fingerprint kiosks to enter and depart the nation. On the other hand, the smart identity card may also be used for several non-immigration-related purposes, such as a library card.

People must always carry their smart identity cards with them according to Hong Kong laws. However, this document does not replace other crucial paperwork, such as travel authorization certificates from the applicant’s home country.


Depending on the holder’s rights to residency, there are two HKID categories

  • Permanent ID card for Hong Kong: for those having the legal right to reside there;
  • Identity card for Hong Kong: for those without permission to reside there.

Age-based categories for Hong Kong identity cards

  • Child (not required for inhabitants under the age of 11);
  • Youth (for locals in the 11–18 age range);
  • Adult (residents who are older than 18).


  • As a non-permanent resident of Hong Kong, the applicant must have a HKID and carry it with them at all times.
  • The information that the microchip stores on the HKID protects against cards being misplaced, stolen, or tampered with.
  • The HKID is a crucial identity document used during the hiring process. The applicant can use it to search and apply for job opportunities.
  • An HKID can also be used for purposes not related to immigration.
  • With a HKID, the applicant may open a corporate bank account in Hong Kong.
  • All electronic government services, including the Automated Vehicle Clearance System and the Automated Passenger Clearance System, accept the HKID.


If the applicant is a recent arrival in Hong Kong, they must present documentation confirming their residency status. This document can be:

  • A valid travel document
  • A passport
  • Entry permit
  • One-way Permit
  • Affidavit verifying the status.

If the applicant is already a resident of Hong Kong, they will need to present documents confirming this, which might include:

  1. A previous identity card;
  2. Card for juvenile identification. If they have never had one, they should give the following:
  • A birth certificate
  • Proof of identification (valid passport or travel document) or most recent school record (with school-authenticated photo).

For youth card applicants (who turned 11 years old)

The following documents are required if they were born in Hong Kong:

  • A birth certificate
  • Proof of identity
  • Previous identity document, if any.

If they were not born in Hong Kong, they should provide the following documents:

  • A birth certificate
  • A legal travel document, passport, entry permit, one-way permit, or affidavit proving their Hong Kong residency status;
  • Previous identity document, if any.

In addition, their parent or legal guardian must be with them and have a valid passport, Hong Kong identification card, or travel document. If the child is accompanied by a legal guardian, they need to present documentation verifying their guardianship.


  • A white background is required;
  • The size of the HKID picture is 40 mm in width and 50 mm in height;
  • In the picture, the head measures 35 mm from the chin to the crown;
  • Between the top of the image and the head’s crown, the negative space is 5 mm.


  • Make an appointment

The applicant will need to make an appointment. They may apply at (852) 2598 0888, the Immigration Department Application, or online on the official Immigration Department website.

  • Show up for the appointment

The applicants must remember to bring their appointment letter with them when they visit the SIDCC in person, as they will need to scan the QR code there in order to proceed with the application process.

The applicant will be required to provide biometric information at this visit.

  • Obtain the card

HKIDs are processed within seven business days on average. After that, the applicant will have to pick up their card. If they are unable to pick up the card in person, they may choose an authorized representative (who must be at least 18 years old and possess a legitimate form of identification from Hong Kong). To do this, they should complete the authorization form to collect identity cards and travel documents. It is also required that the representative deliver this form and the applicant’s acknowledgment of the identity card application.


Although Hong Kong Identity Cards don’t expire, the applicant can be asked to get a new one if more recent versions are made available.

The HKID is only valid for their visa’s length of stay as a non-permanent resident.

Taking good care of the HKID is crucial. The applicant must store it in a protected holder and avoid bending, breaking, tampering with, or testing it with a magnet.


The applicant may need to pay a cost for getting the HKID Card altered or replaced, depending on the circumstances. For newly arrived foreigners, however, obtaining the Hong Card identity card is often free of charge. 

Application type HKID fees
Registration for a card - first-time Free
Renewal of card Free
Replacement of the card in case of loss, damage, or change of personal information The card is lost, damaged, destroyed or defaced - 370 HKDChange of personal details - 460 HKD
Card replacement as part of the territory-wide replacement program Free


Since late 2018, a new Smart Identity Card has been gradually introduced to ensure that all holders of an older version of the HKID have access to the enhanced card type. The replacement of Hong Kong’s smart identity cards is still in progress, and applicants of all ages are being invited to submit their applications within different application windows.⁴

The applicant won’t need to apply for a new card under this program if they are applying for the HKID for the first time; instead, they’ll immediately be granted the updated ID card. All Hong Kong citizens and residents with the outdated card type, including foreign nationals and domestic helpers, still need to upgrade their HKID cards.

The applicant can face prosecution and a fine of up to 5,000 HKD if they don’t replace their card within the specified period and don’t have a good reason for not doing so. Those who are outside of Hong Kong when their call-up window opens are not covered by this. In this case, if they miss the deadline, they’ll need to make an appointment to replace the card within 30 days of getting back to Hong Kong.


  • Identity cards from Hong Kong are secure. Since all information is saved in the chip and stored in the card’s several layers, it is less likely that lost or stolen cards will be altered or used by unauthorized individuals.
  • The card is used to access all electronic government services. The foundation of this delivery is the smart identity card.
  • Since the cards may be used for various non-immigration applications, they offer great convenience.
  • By using the e-channels of the Automated Passenger Clearance System and the Automated Vehicle Clearance System, holders of identity cards can benefit from more convenient immigration clearance due to the thumbprint templates stored within the chip of the card.

Reach out to us at Relin Consultants – Leading Global Business Set Up Partners for more information.


What happens if my HKID card is not renewed?

You risk prosecution and a fine of up to 5,000 HKD if you don’t replace your card within the allotted time frame and don’t have strong reasons for not doing so.

What is the time required to renew a Hong Kong ID?

A permanent identity card replacement typically takes seven working days to process ( excluding Saturdays and public holidays).

Do identification cards issued in Hong Kong have an expiration date?

It only has to be renewed once, and it expires when the cardholder passes away or loses their right of abode.

Who needs to renew their ID card in Hong Kong?

As long as the applicant lives overseas, a permanent identity card obtained abroad will be valid. If the person is returning to Hong Kong, it has to be renewed within 30 days, unless they are still under the age of 11.

What advantages does the Hong Kong ID card provide?

Using a Hong Kong Identity card expedites airport security checks. Holders of the smart identity card can open bank accounts. Identity cards from Hong Kong are very useful while applying for jobs.