Belarus will introduce biometric documents starting on 1 September 2021. The president’s press service reported on Wednesday that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a decree on biometric documents.
Biometric documents will allow for automation of the identification process, simplifying passport control. This will also contribute to the development of electronic services. The new e-passports will have a biometric chip containing a photograph, fingerprints and other personal data of the passport holder.
The government plans to introduce a total of eight new documents, including an identification card and a biometric passport, all containing biometric data.
The identification cards are meant to be used in the territory of Belarus to prove the identity of the owner. The biometric passports will be needed for traveling abroad. (Anyone not planning to travel abroad will not have to apply for a passport). A biometric passport can only be issued if the applicant can also present an identification card.
Individuals who already have a regular passport are not required to replace them with the new biometric documents. The regular passports will be issued on the same terms as the biometric passports.
The use of identity documents will be broadened. With the future identification card, owners will be able to perform legally binding actions using a personal electronic digital signature.
People will have the freedom to choose which type of identity documents (biometric or regular) they want to own. The fee for issuing regular passports will stay the same.