Vietnam seeks to reduce citizens’ papers with new ID card

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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A bill on citizens’ identification documents, if passed, will allow new ID cards to replace residence and birth certificates, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
The bill drafted by the ministry envisages everyone getting a 12-digit identification number which will be linked to a national database consisting of their personal information like parents’ names, blood type, and fingerprints.
The number along with some basic information like full name, date of birth, gender, and place of residence will be printed on the ID card.
The card, which will be embedded with a chip, will be issued when a person turns 15.
The ministry introduced the bill at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee Wednesday, and it will be discussed at the upcoming legislature session this May.
Deputy Minister Bui Van Nam told the committee that since the new card would have information contained in birth and residence certificates, people can use it to provide personal information and get rid of other documents.
Last year the government began issuing the new ID numbers and cards (without a chip) on a pilot basis in Hanoi and the northern city of Hai Phong.
But at the meeting many members of the committee expressed fears though they voiced their support for the new system.
Ksor Phuoc, chairman of the National Assembly's Ethnic Group Council, was concerned about the more than 60 million ID cards and related documents that have been used for various transactions and the need to scrap them now and replace with the new card.
He said if the new system is adopted, comprehensive plans would have to be made for the switchover failing which the economy would be in “a mess.”
The bill is scheduled to face a house vote at a year-end session, and will possibly take effect on July 1 next year if approved.

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