Standardized Digital Identity on National Identity Cards

Spanish Identity Card compliant with the ICAO 9303 standard

There’s an ongoing trend to unify National Identity Cards on the ICAO 9303 standard for Machine Readable Travel Documents, the same standard used by ePassports (also known as biometric passports): you can identify that an identity card complies with said standard if it features the logo circled in red in the previous image, also the next one:

More than 150 countries are already issuing biometric passports on this mandatory standard for ePassports, but there is no worldwide standard for National Identity Cards. Recently, the Regulation 2019/1157 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on strengthening the security of identity cards of Union citizens and of residence documents issued to Union citizens, approved that all Identity Cards in the European Union must use the ICAO 9303 standard (i.e., many of them are already using it).

The ICAO 9303 standard is also implemented by the identity cards of other countries such as Panama, Uruguay, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan or the mainland China ID card for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

We welcome the ongoing standardization to promote a more inter-operable future for digital identity.