Since the previous year, the IDs that would replace the national passports have been under discussion. It’s official! The law with a confusingly long title* prescribes that from now on, instead of a paper-based national passport, one can get a plastic ID with a contactless integrated electronic component. Passports will no longer be issued based on the numerous documents that contain information about citizens and are stored somewhere in the jungle of public offices. From now on, all information will be securely stored in an electronic database. Supposedly, there will not be a chance for corruption or forgery.

Anyone upon reaching the age of 14, or the age of majority, can obtain the ID. The first passport is issued to any citizen free of charge. However, they will be issued in return for a fee ranging from 145 to 580 UAH to citizens of majority age and those daydreamers who have lost their documents and apply for the replacement.

The new IDs will contain information about the owner, including the biometric identity (fingerprints, digitized facial image). As an option, an ID may contain a person’s electronic digital signature. However, the procedure has not yet been introduced prescribing how to issue the IDs and enter electronic digital signatures into the integrated electronic components. That’s why, in case you go to the citizens’ service center and require an ID, don’t be surprised if the clerk will yell at you, since “there is no due regulation yet” (true story).

Hopefully, soon enough, we are going to take the cue from Estonia and will need nothing but our computers and IDs to vote in a presidential election in the comfort of our homes. And then, who knows, may be a visa-free regime with the EU is right around the corner? Yet, this is another story.

*The Law of Ukraine “On the amendments to the particular laws of Ukraine concerning the documents confirming the citizenship of Ukraine, identity or special status, for the liberalization by the European Union of a visa regime for Ukraine” (Draft No.3224)