Digital ID in Your Pocket: Czech Republic’s New eDoklady App

The Czech Republic is set to launch the eDoklady mobile application in January. This innovative app will allow citizens to replace their physical ID cards with a digital version stored on their smartphones. The digital ID will be recognized by offices and vendors, signaling a significant step towards digitalization. However, full utilization of this feature may require patience, as institutions like the police may take up to six months to recognize the digital ID.

This innovation is expected to be particularly useful in age verification situations. As explained by the Minister for Local Development, Ivan Bartoš, users can verify their age at self-service checkouts without needing a staff member. However, while the digital ID can be read at ministries and central offices from January, people must wait another six months before visiting job centers or municipal offices without their plastic ID cards.

The police will also start recognizing the digital IDs from mid-next year. Despite this, from January, drivers will no longer be required to carry their driver’s license card. They will need to prove their identity to a police patrol, which could be done electronically, but this feature will also take another six months to be implemented.

The eDoklady app will allow selected personal data to be easily copied into various forms, such as an address when shopping online or an ID number when booking a flight. To use the app, users must have a set-up electronic identity, a banking identity provided by almost all banks. Users can log into the app using a PIN, fingerprint, or facial scan, similar to online banking.

The verification process will work through a QR code in the app. A photo of the holder is expected to be displayed next to or inside the QR code to allow for any additional checks if necessary. Users will also have the option to choose which data to provide during verification. For instance, they will not have to display their name and address when verifying age.

As the app is still in its prototype phase, further documents beyond the ID card will be able to be uploaded in the future. The finished product should be available by the end of this month.