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JFreesteel is a reusable open-source Java library for reading public data from the Serbian eID card. It is built on top of javax.smartcardio and released under the GNU LGPLv3 license.

Build Status

Using this library your Java desktop applications and general web applications running in a browser (via "invisible" Java applet) can access the smartcard reader to get data such as personal number, full name, place of residence or date of birth. It is also possible to read personal photo from the eID card.

It is built on top of native Java smart card interface and does not require installation of the middleware software or other libraries. Underlay, Java is using system PC/SC interface (bundled with MS Windows and Apple Mac OS X, and pcsc-lite is available on GNU/Linux)

Java API

To start using the library API, call methods readEidInfo() and readEidPhoto() on the EidCard instance. There are two options to get EidCard instance.

There is a low-level API where you get an instance from a card that is currently inserted in a smartcard reader (terminal) with EidCard.fromCard(Card) factory method. A sample code sample/ is availabile in the jfreesteel module. When using the low-level API, you would need to handle card insertions and removals.

It is better to use a high-level API where you just have to implement a listener following the ReaderListener interface, adding your code to methods inserted() and removed(), then subscribe this listener to a Reader object wrapping a smartcard reader. Your listener will be notified whenever the eID card is inserted or removed from a smart card reader, receiving a new EidCard instance on insert.

For more API details, you may find these slides useful (in Serbian): Čitanje elektronske lične karte u Javi.

Note: After the latest API update, EidCard is an abstract class. If you do not use a Reader object, to get an instance call EidCard.fromCard(Card).

Code Review wiki page has some more info in Serbian.

Maven Repository

        <name>JFreesteel Maven Repository</name>

WebExtension (Native Messaging)

Proof-of-concept WebExtension implementation (tested in Google Chrome) is available in the eidnativemessaging module. The code is given as-is and more work is required to package and distribute Java host application and Google Chrome extension. Sample web page is provided that is using this extension to read public data from the smartcard.


The eidapplet module contains an "invisible" Java applet providing a JavaScript interface that can be used in web applications to read smartcard data from a web browser.


For non-developers, in the eidviewer module there is a full-featured GUI viewer built as a Java Swing application using the JFreesteel library. The viewer is released under the GNU Affero GPLv3 license and has the iText library as a dependency.

To download the current viewer release for Windows, GNU/Linux or Mac OS X please visit


  • Get the source code from the Git repository at Github (prefered) or Gitorious

  • Check out the library web page (in Serbian)

  • Browse the project's wiki page

  • Send your patches and comments to Goran Rakic <> or create a merge/pull request on Github or Gitorious