Friday, July 21, 2017

Russia to issue new passports displaying fingerprints

Beginning in July, Russians will be issued passports that include their fingerprints.

Vladimir Putin recently signed the new decree on issuing passports, giving the Russian Federation three months to develop the program and submit draft law changes to the State Duma, RIA Novosti reports.

Residents of Moscow, the Moscow region, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region will be the first to get the new passports.

Old passports will still be valid through their expiration date.

Russia has been discussing the issuance of passports with fingerprints since 2005. It was announced in 2011 that the country would begin the early development of a prototype, RIA Novosti reports.

Russia already introduced passports with an electronic "biometric" chip in recent years. The chip contains the same information that is on the paper, but in electronic form. Citizens can decide for themselves whether they want the chip or not. An electronic document is better protected from fraud and can be processed more quickly in customs.