PPA instructed to halt issuing ID cards, residence permits at Selver stores

Estonian ID-card and card reader.
Estonian ID-card and card reader. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has to temporarily stop issuing Estonian ID cards, residence permit cards and digital identity cards at Selver supermarkets, following a Information System Authority (RIA) order to do so.

Selver started issuing ID cards, residency permits and digital IDs on January 27, and the new development affects over 1,700 people, most of whom had already collected their document. The matter relates to PPA validation rather than the supermarket being directly culpable, it is reported.

In both cases, recipients must go to their nearest PPA station to validate their new cards.

The PPA says it will expedite the new cards for those people affected by this development, who will be contacted personally on the matter.

Functions such as using the document to travel remain in place, meaning those affected by the development who are traveling will not be barred entry internationally.

The order went into effect Wednesday, February 16, meaning all those who ordered a new ID card, residency permit and digital identity at Selver information counters will be issued these at PPA service centers instead, while those who have already received an ID card and/or residence permit from Selver, but whose ID certificate is suspended, can exchange these also at PPA stations.

RIA submitted an injunction Wednesday to SK ID Solutions AS, the company which certifies new ID cards, and obliged SK ID to halt issuing new cards at information counters in Selver, and to invalidate the certificates of those cards already issued at the supermarket.

These will be declared invalid on Friday.

RIA said it took the decision because it has not as yet been able to approve the new manner in which documents and certification are issued at Selver.

Ilmar Toom, head of RIA's supervision department, said: "In order for the state to be able to issue documents together with PIN 1 and PIN 2 envelopes, so that they can be used electronically, the service provider must provide RIA with the necessary information plus an independent auditor's assessment to confirm the issuing meets the requirements established by Estonia and by the EU."

"Since RIA does not have such a notification and no auditor's assessment of conformity has been submitted, the service provider(ie. Selver-ed.) lacks the legal basis to issue ID cards and certificates, located on the document's chip, in its stores," Toom went on.

The PPA says it is informing all those who had ordered a document in Selver directly, both by e-mail and by phone.

Margit Ratnik, head of PPA's identity and status office, said an ID card received from Selver retains its validity in the meantime as an identity document, meaning it can be used both when traveling and, for example, when buying prescription drugs.

From Friday, Selver-issued cards will not function when authenticating and digitally signing documents.

Once the independent auditor and RIA give their approval to Selver, the supermarket will be able to resume issuing ID cards; all transactions using Selver-issued cards are, up to the time of writing, valid, simply that recipients should carry out the above actions at a PPA center.

Selver began issuing ID cards late last month, and around 1,748 ID cards had been ordered up until Wednesday, around 1,100 of which had been issued to their owners.

A total of 92 residency permits and 16 digital ID cards had also been issued at Selver during that time.

Selver also issues Estonian passports, and this service is not affected by the RIA order.

Information in English on ID cards and the PPA is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi

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