Taiwan to unveil new eID card in 2020

Final look to be shown off in April or May 2020, changeover planned for Oct. 2020 to March 2023

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The final design for the new eID card will only be unveiled next April or May.

The final design for the new eID card will only be unveiled next April or May. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – While the Cabinet approved plans for the new e-identity card on Thursday (August 22), the final design will only be unveiled in April or May next year, with the changeover to start in October 2020.

The combination of national health insurance card and driver’s license with the eID card will not be made immediately either, the Central News Agency reported.

Eventually, the eID will also be linked to holders' smartphones, the Cabinet announced after its regular weekly meeting Thursday.

While the detailed look of the new card has not been shown to the public yet, officials did confirm it would feature a national flag, the title “Republic of China national identity card” in Chinese (中華民國國民身分證) and “Republic of China (Taiwan) identity card” in English.

The front of the card will also include the holder's picture, name in Chinese and English, ID number, and date of birth according to the Republic of China calendar in Chinese and the Western calendar in English. The card holder’s marital status will appear on the back, according to CNA.

Security features making the card more difficult to imitate or forge included a map of Taiwan on the holder’s picture and lines showing the height of Taiwan’s tallest peak, Yushan.

The changeover to the new eID will last from October 2020 until March 2023 and cost NT$4.8 billion (US$153 million), the Ministry of Interior said.

The delay in revealing the final look of the card was due to the need to adapt some of the security features, officials said, adding that there was no timetable for linking up smartphones, driver’s licenses, and health insurance cards with the ID. Once all those features were added, citizens would no longer need to carry the eID with them, as its data would be available on their smartphones.