Czech Chamber of Deputies approves digital ID cards for mobile use

Set to launch in 2024, the voluntary digital IDs won’t replace physical cards and are limited to domestic use.

Flag of the Czech Republic

The Czech Chamber of Deputies has passed a draft amendment allowing citizens to use digital ID cards stored on mobile devices to verify their identity. Scheduled for implementation in 2024, the voluntary digital IDs, part of the Digital Czech Republic project, will not replace physical IDs and are restricted for domestic use.

Institutions will gradually be mandated to recognize digital IDs, beginning with central state administration bodies in 2024 and expanding to regions and police by July, with full acceptance by 2025. The initiative aligns with upcoming EU changes and is a precursor to the European Digital Identity project.

To access digital IDs, citizens will require the eDoklady mobile app, which is slated for a test launch in December 2024. The government estimates implementation costs at CZK 500 million, emphasizing the commitment to modernizing public administration and improving citizen convenience.

Why does it matter?

Despite the Czech Republic’s ambitious Digital Czech Republic Programme, progress in recent years has been slow. Consistently trailing below the EU average in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), the Czech Republic’s decline of six positions in the 2022 e-Government Development Index (EGDI) compared to 2020 underscores a notably slow pace of development, placing the country at the 45th position out of 193 countries. While the approval of the draft amendment for digital ID usage is considered a step forward, it prompts critical reflection on the broader trajectory of the nation’s digital transformation, potentially requiring a swifter and more impactful approach.