Budapest, January 11 (MTI) – The first new one-stop biometric card combining personal identification, social security and tax identification information was issued in Budapest on Monday.
The e-card which is also suitable for providing an electronic signature was presented by interior ministry state secretary Laszlo Tasnadi at the Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services (KEKKH). Tasnadi said the rollout of the card is a “success story” which will “open the door to digital public administration”.
He said the rollout of the card is in line with the government’s goal to make public administration cheaper and more efficient and to reduce red tape.
Istvan Ignacz, head of KEKKH, said applications for the new card began on January 4 and within five business days a total of 39,204 people applied for it. He said 6,900 of those applications were to replace valid ID cards. Some 94 percent of the cards are equipped with a chip because citizens over the age of 65 may apply for a card without an embedded chip. A total of 70 percent of the cards store fingerprints and 19 percent contain electronic signatures, he added.
Ignacz said the new card was ready in two months, which he said was a “world record” considering that no other country has launched a card with such complex security functions within such a short amount of time. He said the ID card currently in use which was introduced 15 years ago “was not bad” but said that a new type of card was needed “for security reasons”.
Ignacz said the new card is user-friendly and will speed up and simplify public administration for citizens.
The document will be valid for 6 years for citizens over the age of 18 and for 3 years in the case of minors. Citizens will receive their cards within 8 days of submitting their application.