Croatian Identity Card Changes Coming: Face and Two Fingerprints on Chip

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of April, 2020, starting next year, the Interior Ministry will begin issuing a new Croatian identity card whose visual identity will change. They will bear the insignia of the Republic of Croatia printed in negative in a blue rectangle and surrounded by twelve yellow stars, Vecernji list writes.

The new Croatian identity cards will be security-enhanced and will have a biometric identifier on the chip, that is, a stored image of the holder’s face and fingerprints from the owner’s left and right hands, which will allow for quick electronic identification. There will be no additional charge for a mobile device solution through which a person will manage their data and verify their electronic identity. After receiving the new Croatian identity card and activation information from the police (MUP), the holder will need to activate access to the appropriate electronic identity card management site.

New Croatian identity cards will also be issued to those under the age of 18, while the ID and signature certificate (as it currently is) will only be on ID cards owned by those aged between 18 and 70. Both certificates and IDs will be valid for five years, but the exception is that for those over 70 years of age, the ID cards will be valid permanently (currently, the age limit is 65 years). That group of citizens will also be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want certificates.

If they opt for this first variant, they won’t have to renew it at the end of their certificate if they don’t wish to do so, but instead they will continue to be able to use the same identity card. However, they will not be able to perform electronic identity verification or use it to produce an advanced electronic signature.

A draft bill for the amendment of the Law on ID cards was recently released for public consultation. The existing law is being modified because the European Union adopted a regulation that came into force on the 1st of August 2019 and is directly applicable in all member states from the 2nd of August, 2021.

It stipulates, among other things, that all European Union member states must issue ID cards to their citizens containing the biometric identifiers of the ID card holders. The current documents are valid for Croatian citizens until the expiry of the aforementioned documents, or until August the 3rd, 2031, but those aged 70 and over will still be able to use the old ones as they did before.

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