Fri, Jan 28, 2005 - Page 3 News List

New identification cards to be available from July

BIG BROTHER REDUX The ID cards will from now on be fitted with features that prevent forgery, as well as being made from plastic to give them more durability

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of the Interior yesterday announced that the renewal of national identification cards will begin on July 1.

The new ID cards have been designed to include 21 duplication-proof features.

"The ID card has not been changed for 19 years. Fake identification cards have, in the past, been linked to many crimes," Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said.

This year, the ministry managed to have the cost of the renewal project incorporated into its annual budget.

Fingerprints

Amendments to the Household Registration Law (戶籍法) passed in 1997 require all Republic of China citizens over the age of 14 to submit a full set of fingerprints when applying for an ID card.

The amendment caused controversy among human rights groups, who consider compulsory fingerprinting a violation of human rights.

As a result, an amendment to abolish the fingerprinting stipulation has been submitted to the Legislative Yuan but has not been passed.

Su said that whether or not the new ID cards would include fingerprints would depend on what the law stipulates at the time of the renewal period.

"It all depends on what the Household Registration Law (戶籍法) says when that time comes around. The regulation to enforce fingerprinting is against the ideology of the ruling party," Su said.

The cards will be manufactured by the same engraving and printing plant that manufactures the nation's currency.

Same Colors

Men and women will have ID cards of the same color and the text will be printed horizontally instead of vertically.

The front of the new ID card will have a photo of the cardholder, his or her name, ID number and date of birth.

On the back will be the names of the cardholder's parents, spouse, place of birth, place of residence and type of military classification, as well as a column for notes relating to important information not contained in the other categories.

As the new cards will not be paper-based but instead resemble the plastic National Health Insurance card, a change in residence or marital status will require the cardholder to apply for a new card.

The design change also means that election officials will no longer be able to stamp the back of voters' identification cards at the time that they submit their ballots.

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