|A woman takes photo for her ID card. New ID cards will be issued beginning of January 1 in 16 provinces and cities throughout the country. — Photo tonkinvn.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Sixteen cities and provinces across Viet Nam will start issuing new ID cards from January 1, 2016.
Deputy Chief of the Police General Department of Administration and Social Security Gen. Tran Van Ve said the new IDs would not be that different from the current 9-digit and 12-digit IDs (Chung Minh Nhan Dan), so citizens with valid IDs would not have to exchange them for new ones.
Should citizens decide to apply for the new cards anyway, they may still hold onto their old IDs in case they need them to conduct business.
He noted that the new ID numbers would be associated with citizens' personal records and could be searched and retrieved from a digital database. Vietnamese ID cards may also, in the future, be used as an alternative to the regular Vietnamese passport on the condition that bilateral agreements were reached with destination countries.
While applauding the Government's initiative to issue the new ID cards, experts voiced their concerns over the time chosen to start issuing them.
Head of the Institute for Policy Studies, Law and Development Dr Hoang Ngoc Giao, in an interview with the Labour newspaper, questioned the necessity of the new ID cards.
"I think the Government can still manage personal records just fine with the old 9-digit and 12-digit ID papers," he said.
Giao said if we counted the new ID cards, there would be four different ID papers in Viet Nam, including passports, the 9-digit and 12-digit ID cards.
In addition, he noted that with the new ID cards personal records may have to be divided into three different categories, which may complicate the task of managing them.
Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Ky, a former high-ranking officer of the police IT department, said that in essence the 9-digit type, the 12-digit or even the new ID cards were just ID papers used in the management of personal records.
"In many countries, a unique ID number is issued to each citizen for the rest of his or her life. I don't think having three different ID numbers would be an efficient way to manage the database," Ky said. — VNS