Czechs May Get The Option To Prove Identity Digitally

A mobile phone app developed by the Digital Information Agency will be needed to provide digital documents. Credit: KK/BD.

Prague, Sept 14 (CTK) – Czech citizens may soon be able to prove their identity digitally instead of with physical documents, as proposed in the draft law on the right to digital services approved by the government yesterday, deputy prime minister for digitalisation Ivan Bartos (Pirates) told journalists.

The motion is yet to be reviewed by parliament.

However, digital copies of documents should not replace physical IDs and will not be used to prove identity remotely. According to a report on the bill, the project should cost the state administration about CZK 500 million to launch, with estimated annual operating costs of CZK 50 million.

According to Bartos, a mobile phone app developed by the Digital Information Agency (DIA) will be needed to provide digital documents. Users of the app can send requests for identification, proving their bank identity or other types of electronic identity verification. The app generates a code which the verifying authority, such as the police or the post office, can check in its own reader app.

The law assumes that the digital copy will have the same legal effect as the original document. It will not be possible to issue a digital copy without the existence of a physical document, and they will not contain any data beyond the physical document. Citizens can choose whether to prove their identity with a regular document or digitally.

The civil service will be obliged to accept both versions of the ID card. Bartos pointed out that digital documents could not be used to travel abroad, in which case a standard ID card would still be required.

The law is expected to come into force on 1 January 2024, and the obligation to accept digital versions of ID cards will be phased in gradually, according to Bartos. From the beginning of the year, central civil service bodies should accept them, and from July, regional authorities. In 2025, the obligation would be extended to all remaining administrative bodies, including embassies.

According to the explanatory memorandum to the bill, this step will contribute to the digitization of the public sector. The document notes that digital equivalents are already in common use in the private sphere, citing digital versions of physical payment cards as an example.


Brno Daily Subscribe
Sign up for morning news in your mail