Fingerprint recognition to be added to new ID cards

Giving fingerprints.
Giving fingerprints. Source: ERR

Fingerprint recognition is to be added to ID cards issued from August 23. The change is the result of the introduction of pan-European biometric identity cards this year.

"From the second half of this year, both Estonia and other member states will add fingerprints to the identity card chip, similarly to passports," Elen Kraavik, adviser to the Citizenship and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior said." The inclusion of biometrics in identity cards is an EU-wide agreement aimed at better-ensuring security and safety through more effective identity checks."

Kraavik added that it is important to jointly increase the level of authenticity of identity cards of all Member States. "The EU, including Estonia, supports the fight against identity fraud and forgery of identity documents," he explained. "This is another step in the fight against crime."

Marit Abram said that the coordinator of the Identity and Status Bureau of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), the change is valid when applying for a new ID card and people do not have to start exchanging a valid ID card for a new one before it expires.

Additionally, a person does not have to give fingerprints again if less than six years have passed since the last fingerprinting, for example when applying for a passport.

"If a person has a proper photo, a sample signature and his or her fingerprints are valid, the document can be requested without leaving home. If the data is incomplete, the PPA service hall must be visited," Abram said.

The EU regulation, which obliges the use of biometrics on ID cards from the second half of 2021, was adopted in 2019. Finland, Germany and the Czech Republic, for example, have already introduced new biometric identity cards since August this year.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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