Israel moves to biometric passports, ID cards exclusively

Stephen Mayhew – June 6, 2017

After several extensions of the pilot phase, Israel moved to biometric passports and ID cards exclusively beginning June 1, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post.

The government launched the biometric database’s pilot phase in July 2013, which was supposed to conclude after two years. However, the pilot was extended three times until the Knesset passed the biometric database law earlier this year.

Previously, citizens had the option of selecting either a biometrics-based or regular ID card or passport.

Now all residents will be photographed digitally when they apply for either the ID card or passport, and will have the option to submit their fingerprints to the national database and receive a 10-year passport, or decline and receive a 5-year passport. All applicants over 16 are interviewed as well as part of the process to validate one’s identification.