The electronic national ID (eID) card will have a “military grade” information-security system, a senior Ministry of the Interior official said yesterday.
The government announced last year that new ID cards that combined existing national ID cards with Citizen Digital Certificates would be launched by October this year.
However, early last month, Department of Household Registration Affairs Director Chang Wan-yi (張琬宜) said that travel restrictions triggered by COVID-19 had made importing the equipment to manufacture the cards difficult, so the rollout would likely be pushed back until next year.
Chang yesterday confirmed that the program has been delayed probably until next year, due to improvements being made to the cards and production issues caused by the pandemic.
The ministry originally estimated the new cards would cost the same as the current national IDs — NT$200 — but production costs have been higher due to the improved security features, she said
While initial cards would be provided free of charge, there are plans to charge a NT$900 fee for replacements for lost cards, because the department has to carry out additional identity checks and other risk-prevention measures since the new cards would carry more sensitive data, she said.
People who need to replace an eIDs due to changes in personal information would have to pay a NT$300 fee, she said.
The costs are still just estimates, and the department would welcome public input, she said.
However, replacing or undating an eID would still be cheaper than other government-issued documents, such as passports or Alien Resident Certificate cards for foreigners, which respectively cost NT$1,300 and NT$1,000 to replace, Chang said.
“The eID will be the most secure type of card issued in the country ... It will be as secure as a classified military document,” she said.
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