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The PBGB will be issuing ID cards with a new design from the new year

From 1 January 2019 at the latest, the offices of the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) will be issuing new ID cards with a new design as well as new security features and a contactless interface.

From the new year, the ID cards, resident permit cards, digital identity cards, and diplomatic identity cards will be produced by a new company. ‘The new ID cards are not merely different by design but also by the substance. We will be using a colour photograph, a secondary photograph, i.e., a reproduction of the document photograph, and the so-called transparent window on the ID card. We have also used several design elements characteristic to Estonia on the ID card. On the back of the card is an Estonian bog concealing several smaller images,’ said Eliisa Sau, Chief Expert of the PBGB. ‘The new ID card uses several security features, which can be seen by the naked eye as well as by using various tools. Close inspection also reveals different pictures and statements about Estonia on the card.’

The PBGB relied on the knowledge of internal as well as external experts in developing the new design and selecting the security features. ‘The security features were selected in cooperation with the Estonian Forensic Science Institute, while Enterprise Estonia was involved in designing the documents,’ said Sau.

The ID card is equipped with a new chip with two interfaces: the regular contact interface and contactless interface. ‘The chip is of a larger capacity, which enables adding new applications. For example, the electronic public transport ticket or other certificates issued in the electronic format. Initially, digital signing and authentication will only be possible by using the contact chip. The use of the contactless interface must, above all, be based on security and executed in a manner which prevents reading the data from the card without the card owner’s awareness,” explained Margus Arm, Head of the Electronic Identity Department of the Information System Authority.

All issued cards will remain valid until the specified expiry dates and do not need to be replaced. All printed ID cards of the old design which have not yet been picked up will be held for six months and then destroyed.

The arrival of the new documents in the ID-1 format will also signal the beginning of providing follow-up services at foreign embassies. This means that in the future it will be possible to suspend certificates, end or cancel such suspensions, and replace PIN envelopes in forty Estonian embassies worldwide.

On 27 April 2017, the PBGB entered into a contract with a French document producer IDEMIA for the production of ID cards, resident permit cards, digital identity cards, and diplomatic identity cards. The cost of the five-year contract will amount to a maximum of 40 million euros.

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