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Ukraine legislation gives digital IDs and physical passports equal status

With 302 votes in support out of 320 MPs

smartphone biometric identity and document verification

Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed legislation earlier this week to expand the validity of digital passports displayed via the government-controlled Diia app, Unian reports.

Following the move, the e-passports of Ukrainian citizens will be considered on equal terms with traditional biometric passports, even for foreign travel, though the article notes that the digital ID document should not be used for border checks, except when necessary for confirming the identity of a Ukrainian citizen entering the country and its occupied territories.

The new rules came into effect as an amendment to the Law “On the Unified State Demographic Register and Documents Confirming the Citizenship of Ukraine, Certifying Identity or a Special Status” (No. 4355).

The novel legislation passed with 302 votes in favor, out of all 320 MPs registered for the session, and will come into force on August 23. The article suggests Ukraine is the first country in the world to give the digital IDs equal status with physical passports.

Citizens’ e-passports will now be issued for free and with a unique electronic identifier featuring a QR, bar, and digital code, together with residence information. The e-passports will also include individual taxpayer identifiers.

The new digital identity documents will be valid not only for traveling, but also to prove individuals’ identities in a variety of scenarios, including identification, confirmation of citizenship, and provision of governmental services.

Ukraine is attempting to stay near the forefront of technological advancement in terms of biometric and digital ID applications.

Last May, the National Bank of Ukraine announced it has released a mobile application for reading information from biometric government credentials. More recently, digital identity firm Regula expanded its team by opening a new forensics office in Kyiv.

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