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Smart Identity Cards launched

The Department for Registration of Persons yesterday commenced the issuance of the international standard Smart Identity Cards including International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard photograph of the recipient and a bar-code.

The first Smart Identity Card was offered to Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Minister S.B.Navinna who participated as Chief Guest at the ceremony held at the Department of Registration of Persons.

Minister Navinna said all those above the age of 15 years who receive identity cards from yesterday onwards will get a Smart Identity Card. He also said that during a President’s Mobile Service in Vavuniya, it was observed the difficulties that some people faced due to that fact that the identity card is printed at the office in Colombo.

“Therefore, we decided to print the identity cards at Provincial level,” Minister Navinna said.

“President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe decided to provide these facilities by November in 2018,”the Minister said.

The Minister said the details in the card are printed in the three languages.

He added that although it was planned to introduce this smart identity card on eight previous occasions but it did not come to fruition.But the Unity Government has been able to accomplish this task. He added that the Government has reduced the applicable age for an National Identity Card to 15 years.

Department of Registration of Persons Director General P.V.Gunathilake said the identity cards that have been issued until yesterday too are valid and no body needs to rush to get a new one. He added that the reprinting of 16 million Smart Identity Cards at an instant is not practical. He added those who are below 40 years of age would have to change their identity card due to the comparatively rapid changes they make in their outer appearances.

Gunathilake added that the Smart Identity Card is an interim card of the Electronic Identity Card which would be issued in due course, with the bio data of the recipient.

He also said they also plan to prepare a National Persons Registry which would include all the details of persons in the country.

He added that after the completion of the registration,the Department of Registration of Persons would take measures to send the Smart Identity Cards to all to their postal addresses in due course.

Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary D.Swarnapala was also present.