Draft making eID card a compulsory document from 2023 onward remains inactive

Latvia’s government has yet to review the legislative draft that makes electronic ID card a compulsory personal identification document for all residents of Latvia older than 15.

It was decided at a Cabinet of Ministers meeting to wait for a report from Justice Ministry on possible compulsory use of eID cards. Once it is finished, the government will discuss this matter with the report in hand. This may happen in a couple of weeks.

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s developed legislative draft on Amendments to Personal Identification Documents Law is associated with European Parliament and European Council regulation on enhancement of trustworthiness of domestic electronic transactions. This regulation provides that starting from 1 September 2018 all EU member states are to provide their residents with the option to receive cross-border electronic services using any form of ID document recognized in EU member states.

To allow residents to use their rights to the fullest extent using state-provided electronic services regardless of where they are, Environment Ministry believes it would be best to make eID cards as a primary personal identification document in Latvia.

‘The eID card will be compulsory for all Latvian citizens and non-citizens that have reached the age of 15. Passports, on the other hand, will be documents of choice and will be used as a travel document to countries in which eID cards are not a recognized valid personal identification and travel document,’ the ministry notes.

The legislative draft allows for preserving a person’s rights to pick both documents – passport and eID card. At the same time, it will be established that from 1 January 2023 eID cards will be a compulsory personal identification document.

It is planned that by making eID a compulsory document residents will not only be provided access to state e-services, but also other digital market aspects. This means residents will have on their hands a universal identification tool compliant with the highest security requirements. Residents will also be provided with the option to receive electronic services provided by other EU member states.

Amendments provide a transition period for eID card adoption as a compulsory document for all residents from 2019 to 2022. The transition period will be extended from 2019 to 2029 for citizens and non-citizens that have provided information for their place of residence abroad in accordance with requirements of the Population Register Law and receive services from social care and social rehabilitation institutions. This also applies to politically repressed residents, 1st Group invalids, and residents of pension age.

The ministry also reminds that residents who only have an eID card require a special ID certificate to exercise their rights as voters.

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