Belarusian paper passports will be replaced with plastic ID-cards starting 1 July, 2018.
Eventually, ID-cards will become a means of identification instead of passports.
According to the Minister of Communications and Informatization Sergey Popkov, an ID-card will serve two main functions.
Firstly, it will replace a paper passport. Secondly, it will give citizens access to various governmental services.
The official added that a new integrated service and payment system had been developed to operate ID-cards. It will be put into operation on 1 July.
“And we will start issuing first ID-cards by then. The Ministry of Internal Affairs will be doing it,” the minister said.
Earlier this year the authorities announced plans to introduce biometric passports and ID-cards in January 2019.
Biometric passports will allow Belarusians to pass border control faster. Meanwhile, an ID-card will serve as an internal document – like in many European states.
It will contain the digital signature of a person, which will greatly expand the possibilities of the card holder. For example, it will be possible to make payments usind ID-card.
The ID-card will cost one basic amount (23 Belarusian rubles as of 22 September, 2017 – note BF). The biometric passport will cost about €30.