Slovenian biometric identity card wins prestigious international award
This year's High Security Printing EMEA™ Conference is taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 7 to 9 March 2023 and its award for the best ID card of the year was claimed by the Slovenian biometric identity card.
A panel of renowned international experts in the field of ID and security documents awarded the Slovenian identity card the prestigious title of the best new national ID card in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The quality of entries for the Best New National ID Card category was so high this year that the expert jury decided to make this a joint award. In addition to Slovenia, the United Arab Emirates was also awarded with the award for the best new national identity card this year.
Through this prestigious annual international award, independent experts recognise outstanding achievements and technical excellence in identity or travel document solutions, promoting examples of best practice in the region.
The new identity card is a joint achievement of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Public Administration and the contract producer CETIS. The international award for the best ID card is a recognition of the joint effort in the manufacture of an extremely complex Slovenian document, which represents the cutting edge of the existing technology in this field.
Roman Žnidarič, MSc, Executive Director of the company CETIS upon receiving the award: “With the new biometric identity card, the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia received a personal and travel document with the highest level of security and advanced functionalities, which we are proud to present in Slovenia and abroad. While developing this cutting-edge technology, we joined forces with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Public Administration and used all of our knowledge and experience, the latest technology, and the most modern security elements. We are pleased that this new milestone in the field of Slovenian documents has also been recognised by an expert jury.
We are aware that we have been entrusted with an important activity, issuing documents and identity management, so we assume great responsibility in developing comprehensive solutions used to support governments around the world.
We are particularly proud of the trust that our own country has been showing us in the field of producing security documents ever since Slovenia gained its independence as well as of our joint contribution to even more secure and efficient identity management undertaken for the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia and to more efficient, user-friendly, and digitised public administration solutions.”
Biometric identity cards
On 28 March 2022, after almost 24 years, Slovenia started issuing new biometric identity cards. Our current identity card represents an identity document that combines cutting-edge technology, sophisticated security design and the highest requirements of international standards. The ID card is an important step towards modern digitalised services in the Republic of Slovenia, as it enables secure and reliable electronic identification and signature. This was also recognised by the panel of judges.
The new ID cards feature an exceptional design inspired by Slovenian symbols, nature, history, culture and sport. These include an outline of a map of Slovenia, the coat of arms, various manuscripts of the Slovenian anthem, a figure from the Vače situla with an accentuated image of a horseman, an outline of Robba's fountain and a linden leaf. The image of Triglav, the text of the second stanza of Prešeren's Zdravljica and the waves of the sea were added to the recognisable motifs on the back of the identity card. The security features have been integrated into the design and motifs also found on the passports of the Republic of Slovenia, thus ensuring a coherent visual image of the travel documents. Slovenians are proud of the sporting achievements of our athletes at home and abroad, so it is no coincidence that the colours of the new identity card are the distinctive colours of Slovenian sport.
While the old ID card had 14 security features, the new ID card provides the highest level of security and advanced features with 34 security elements. These include a chip and a photograph created using three different techniques, as well as a transparent window that displays the initials of the name and surname alongside the photograph. An EU flag with a two-letter code for Slovenia is added in the top left corner. Security features are integrated into the security design as a meaningful part of the story.
Wide range of functionalities and e-services
A wide range of functionalities enable a secure and reliable electronic identification and electronic signature. The new ID card has a chip with two biometrics: the holder's image and two fingerprints (this applies to citizens aged 12 and over). Citizens can currently travel to 42 countries with the new ID card. All ID cards also include a chip tag and a QR code (a barcode in the form of an abstract black and white diagram). The QR code does not contain a record of personal data, but allows the validity of the ID card to be verified through the e-Government portal, thus enhancing legal security.
Currently, the electronic ID card can already be used for a wide range of e-services, not only in the public sector but also in the private sector, through portals such as:
By the end of March 2023, the electronic ID card is expected to be available for use in the health insurance system as a replacement for the current health insurance card, and in the second half of this year also for the provision of electronic services in other EU Member States.
According to the record of issued identity cards, 1,839,439 citizens had a valid identity card on 6 March 2023, and 408.421 new ID cards have been issued since 28 March 2022.
Before an identity card is personalised and mailed to the citizen who applied for it, 51 process stages are required. It is a complex product and a demanding process, which is why this award is also a recognition for the Slovenian security printing and identity management solutions company.
From the left: Aleš Pelan, MSc, Alenka Colja, MSc, Simona Strnad, MSc and Mihela Colnarič.