Czechia improves citizen convenience with brand new digital ID

The move comes as part of Czechia's broad digitization plan to make key documents paperless and online.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 15.09.2023 11:11:00 (updated on 15.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Starting January next year, Czech citizens will have the option to download a digital version of their ID cards from the App Store and Google Play, as part of an amendment to the Act on the Right to Digital Services. This significant development, introduced by Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalization and Minister for Regional Development Ivan Bartoš, aims to make identity verification more convenient and secure.

A focus on convenience and ease

Bartoš expressed his enthusiasm for this innovation, saying "The most pleasant consequence of the introduction of the digital version of the ID card" was that people no longer had to carry the physical version of ID documents anymore in the future. "A mobile phone is enough to prove your identity," he added. This digital alternative will gradually gain acceptance at various locations starting in 2024.

One of the key advantages of the digital ID card is enhanced security and control over personal data. Citizens will have a clear understanding of the information they need to share with verifiers, promoting privacy and data protection. Even in the event of a lost mobile phone, the digital ID cards can be remotely deactivated, ensuring additional security.

Establishments will need to accept them

The amendment to the law on the right to digital services establishes the eDoklady application as a comprehensive alternative to physical ID cards for national use. Citizens will have the freedom to choose between the physical and digital versions to prove their identity or provide necessary information. To access the digital ID, individuals will need a citizen's digital identity, which can be obtained through methods such as the eGovernment mobile key.

Martin Mesršmíd, director of the Digital and Information Agency, highlighted the significance of eDocuments as a precursor to the European digital wallet, fostering a culture of smartphone-based identity verification. This user-friendly application will simplify the process for both citizens and verifiers, ensuring that personal data remains protected.

when to expect the introduction of digital ids

  • From Jan. 1, 2024, central administrative authorities will be required to accept digital ID cards.
  • From July 1, 2024, this obligation extends to state bodies that are not central administrative authorities, as well as regions and municipalities with extended powers.
  • From Jan. 1, 2025, other authorities and entities mandated by law to verify identity using an ID card will need to accept digital alternatives.
  • People interested in voluntary digital identity verification can start doing so from Jan. 1, 2024.

The law amendment also outlines the conditions for using and accepting digital identity cards, with information in the application updated daily to ensure data security and validity. Importantly, the introduction of digital ID cards does not mean the disappearance of physical documents, as they are still necessary for the creation of digital counterparts.

This progressive move towards digital ID cards marks a significant step in modernizing identity verification processes in the Czech Republic, providing citizens with convenience and security in equal measure.

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