The Ministry of the Interior will issue new forgery-proof identification cards to approximately 19 million citizens from December 21 until December 31, 2006, ministry officials said yesterday.
The officials urged the public to renew their ID cards according to the time and venue given them by local household registration offices to shorten their waiting time.
Similar to credit cards in size, the new ID cards will have 21 forgery-proof features, they said. For example, the shape of Jade Mountain and Taiwan as well as the MOI emblem are imbedded images on the card, while a butterfly pattern can be seen by slanting the ID cards.
The name column of the new identification cards will have enough room for up to 15 Chinese characters or 20 Roman letters, which will make it easier for aboriginal people to use their traditional names on their new ID cards, they said.
To make it convenient for the public to renew their ID cards, local household registration staff will collect the photos and deliver the ID cards for disabled people who cannot apply for their new ID cards in person, they said.
Meanwhile, photo-taking services will be provided free of charge to citizens from low or medium-low income families, they added.
According to Interior Minister Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), the government has before this renewed ID cards in 1947, 1954, 1966, 1976 and 1986.
The MOI had initially planned to renew the ID cards starting July 1 this year and to require fingerprinting from all applicants, but the plan was postponed until December after some ruling Democratic Progressive Party legislators requested a constitutional interpretation by the Council of Grand Justices over the controversial policy, Su pointed out.
The Council of Grand Justices ruled on September 28 that the fingerprinting policy was unconstitutional, prompting the MOI to drop it.