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Citizen identification bill gets approval from NA committee, likely valid next year

A committee under the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) has given a nod to the Bill on Citizen Identification, under which “citizen identification cards” will be granted to citizens at birth.

A committee under the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) has given a nod to the Bill on Citizen Identification, under which “citizen identification cards” will be granted to citizens at birth.
A committee under the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) has given a nod to the Bill on Citizen Identification, under which “citizen identification cards” will be granted to citizens at birth.

At the June 4 meeting of the 7th session of the 13th NA, the law-making body’s Committee for Defense and Security approved the bill after hearing Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang present a report on it.

“The bill will create an important breakthrough in administrative procedure reforms related to citizens’ rights and obligations,” the committee, which is assigned by the NA to assess the bill, said.

The proposed new law will make the management of citizens simpler and more effective, as citizen identification cards and personal identification numbers – both will be granted to citizens at birth – will be used to replace many other papers, such as certificates of birth, marriage certificates, and household registration books.

The Ministry of Public Security recommended that if the legislature approves the bill, it should take effect as a law on July 1, 2015.

However, the committee’s chairman Nguyen Kim Thoa said that such an effective date can be unfeasible, as all concerned agencies need more time for preparations to enforce the proposed new law.

The valid date of the bill, therefore, should be delayed by another six months, Thoa suggested.

Household registers to be abolished

According to the bill, “citizen identification cards” and current “identity cards” are similar in content but they are different in that the former are granted to citizens when they are born while the latter are issued to citizens when they are 14 years old, Public Security Minister Quang said in his report.

Citizen identification cards will contain a personal identification number of 12 digits, three more digits than the current ID cards, and such information as name, sex, age, ethnic group, place of birth, permanent residence, and other details, according to the bill.

The use terms of citizen identification cards are calculated from the issue dates and as follows: 10 years for people aged 15 to under 25, 15 years for people aged 25 to under 70, and an indefinite term for people aged 70 or more, the minister said.

As for people under 15, the cards will be valid from their birth until they reach 14 years of age, and when citizens reach 15, they will be granted new cards that include their fingerprints and signs of identity, Minister Quang said.

The ministry expects that every citizen will be granted a citizen identification card in place of an identity card by 2020, he added.

He also noted that current identity cards can be used normally if they are still in their statutory validity period, which lasts for 15 years from the date of issue.

Once all Vietnamese citizens are granted citizen identification cards and personal identification numbers, household registration books, which have long been used as a means of citizen management, will be abolished, the minister said.