Introduction of Electronic Identity Card in the Republic of Cyprus – Technology

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Recently, the Civil Status Act 2002 (L.141 (I) 2002) was amended, to introduce provisions on the electronic identity card (“EIDSpecifically, Chapter Three of the Vital Statistics Act establishes the legal framework governing EID matters. The new EID was created to help individuals prove and verify themselves, without going personally with the competent authorities and/or services EID users will therefore have access to the Government’s online services, using only their EID.

An example of the use of EID in the private sector would be in banking services, where an interested party will be able to use the EID when applying for a bank loan, without having to visit the commercial establishments of the bank. . Although this is common practice abroad, the Cypriot authorities have not yet adopted the use of EID in the online services sector. Therefore, the government initiated the procedure for establishing the EID scheme in Cyprus.

What is an IDE?

An EID is a digital identification that can be used in place of an identity card and can be stored digitally. The EID is particularly useful for people who wish to prove and verify their identity electronically and to access various online services, offered both in the public and private sectors, in Cyprus and throughout the European Union (“EU“).

The purpose of EID

The purpose of EID is to provide individuals with a safe and convenient way to prove and verify their identity online, each time they access a public or private service. Therefore, individuals will be able to electronically settle any outstanding obligation they may have anywhere in the world, at any time, without having to visit the relevant department/authority in person. (e). The EID is therefore equivalent to an identity card and is considered a valid, secure and reliable means of accessing online services.

It should be noted that the electronic identity card is recognized in all Member States, so that EU citizens can use the EID for identification purposes anywhere in the territory of the EU. One of the reasons why the EU has decided to adopt the concept of EID is to eliminate the leakage of personal data, especially during the registration process on social networks and websites. In a few years, the EID will be used in such a way that users will no longer need to provide their contact details and personal data to each website they register and create an account.

Who is eligible for electronic identity?

According to Section 65A of the Civil Status Act, a person who meets the following criteria is entitled to apply for an EID in the Republic of Cyprus:

  1. Has Cypriot nationality

  2. Over 18 (eighteen) years old

  3. Holds a valid biometric identity card issued by the Republic of Cyprus

  4. Does not hold any other valid EID

How can I apply for an electronic identity?

According to the decree issued by the Ministry of the Interior on the basis of Article 65G of the Civil Status Law, the application for the issuance of an EID can be submitted either electronically or in person, by visiting the premises of the EID supplier. It should be noted that the EID provider will be a private company, which would be in charge of operating the authentication and verification procedure for EID applicants. The name of the EID provider has not yet been announced.

The EID provider will double check the applicants details and if they are valid and verified, they will then contact the responsible officer of the Vital Statistics Department. The latter will approve or deny the request and notify the EID provider. It should be noted that the entire procedure for issuing and renewing an EID will take up to five (5) working days from the date of filing of the corresponding application. According to Section 65A(7) of the Civil Status Act, the EID will be valid for three (3) years. The holder of an EID also has the right to renew their EID before its expiry date. The EID may be suspended or revoked, if deemed necessary.

Originally published March 22, 2022

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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