The bright yellow form substitutes for the Thai ID card being used by 250,000 people all over Thailand.
The national Thai identification smart card has been put on hold since June last year due to a dispute between the manufacturer and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry which is claiming the contractor failed to meet the set specifications.
Mr. Wisitsuk Wongworachart, Chief Executive Officer of Registration of the Pattaya Permanent Secretary Office said, “We have been unable to issue the Thai national identification card since June last year. Thais with expired ID cards and those who have lost their cards are not able to get new cards. This has caused hassle for the Thais as many have complained that the current yellow A4 sized paper is too large and they cannot put it in their wallet.”
The cards that were produced printed the Ministry of Interior stamp in red when it was supposed to be black, some Thai and English fonts are printed in blue and some in black while everything is meant to be black, the microchip is supposed to be black and white but it is gold, the Thai flag is supposed to be black and white not its original color and there is not supposed to be the Royal Palace printed on the front or back of the card.
Before the card was put on hold, the ICT already distributed 26 million ID cards across the country.
The ICT then adjusted the regulations set by the interior so that the 26-million cards that were already distributed were valid and so that the additional 9 million cards already produced would not go to waste.
Mr. Mongkol Surasajja, Director-General of the Interior Ministry's Provincial Administration Department recently announced that the cabinet had agreed to allow changes to the ministry's specifications for the cards.
Now the final decision will be made by the Office of the Juridical Council, if they approve, the 9 million cards could be distributed which is good news to the Thais as many do not like pulling out a neon yellow A4-size paper when going into clubs.
Not only that, the department is also looking into developing the cards into a multi-purpose card which would allow holders to gain access to government services.
Mr. Piphob Chamthongsuk, Director of the Department's Civil Registration Unit said, “Some agencies have already signed agreements with companies to provide access to state services. For example, cardholders would be able to gain access to medical services registered with the National Health Security Office.”
The smart ID cards project was established in 2003 by the Thaksin Shinawatra government, which set aside a budget of about 8 billion baht for 64 million cards.
The smart ID card has a microchip which carries information about the card holders and enables access to databases held by state agencies.
It was reported that the Office of the Juridical Council will finalize the card as soon as possible and Thais will be able to get their cards made sometime this year.
Those who are not familiar with the smart Thai ID card; it consists of the Thai identification number that was granted to each individual since they were born, the person’s name and last name in Thai and English, their date of birth, their address, the date of issue, the date of expiry, their photo with a photo ID and most importantly a microchip that stores all of the person’s information.
2. The current smart Thai ID Card,
introduced in 2003 by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra
is being used by 26 million people across country is in fact illegal.
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