On March 30, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill equating digital ID cards and passports to ordinary ones. The new legislation will come to force in August this year.
Launched via the Diia e-government app in April 2020, digital IDs have been used only experimentally so far.
Under the new legislation, the digital documents will be recognized everywhere in the country for identification and citizenship confirmation purposes. The only exception concerns the crossing of borders or travels to “the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine” (the legal formulation to designate Crimea).
This legal innovation is part of what the authorities call “paperless regime,” which the country will fully embrace in September 2021. Public authorities will not have the right to require paper documents if the necessary information can be found in electronic registers.
A world’s first
“Ukraine is the first country in the world to launch digital passports and legally equate them to ordinary documents,” stated Digital Transformation minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
While many other countries — such as Estonia, Poland and South Korea to name just a few, — have introduced digital documents or are in the process of doing so, Ukraine will be “the first one” to regard them as legally equivalent to paper or electronic ones, says Fedorov.
“This is not just a landmark event in the history of modern Ukraine. This is a unique global case that we can and should be proud of,” the minister added.
The new legislation has been developed with support from EGAP Program and the East Europe Foundation, with support from the Swiss and Canadian governments.