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Citizens with chips and eDocuments: how do they differ and how are they worthwhile?

Digitalisation permeates all areas of our lives. We have already seen some significant attempts in the area of citizen identification. Whether in various sub-forms such as electronic signatures or bank identities. Now, however, all citizens have the option of presenting a classic ID card on their mobile phones. How will this app work in competition with traditional ID cards and will it affect their validity in any way?

občanský průkaz, eDoklady
6 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

The new electronic document is not an eCitizen

A basic observation that may have confused those who tried to download and use the new electronic document in January was that it is not an eObčanka application . This confused many people and also led to some reactions that the system was complicated and not functional.

However, only the names are confusing. Under the name eObčanka, you can download an old application from 2018, which, according to its description, is used for electronic identification and authentication of holders of ID cards issued after 1 July 2018 against online services and portals provided by the public administration. However, in order for it to function properly, a computer or mobile device must be connected to an ID card reader. This complicates the whole operation somewhat.

Anew type of ID card containing a chip is also generally referred to as an eObčanka. This can be used to identify yourself using a smart card reader built into your computer or purchased from an electrical shop.

This type of ID card is now issued by the authorities instead of the original plastic cards. When handing them over, they provide citizens with the IOK and DOK codes.

Tip: If the authorities equip you with an original plastic eCard with a chip, you will also receive (or choose) two personal IOK and DOK codes.

Thepersonal identification code (IOK) is like a PIN for your eID card. The IOK has 4 to 10 numbers. It will come in handy when you log in to the Citizen Portal or other connected portals. Beware, you can only get it wrong three times, then you must use the deblocking personal code. You can find detailed information on the Citizen Identity infoweb.

TheDeblocking Personal Code (DPC) will come in handy if you forget or enter your personal identification code incorrectly three times. The DOK has 4 to 10 numbers and works similarly to the PUK on your phone SIM card. You can find detailed information on the Citizen Identity infoweb.

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What documents and papers do you need to take to obtain an eID?

  • If this is the first ID card, a birth certificate or passport is required. In justified cases, a citizenship certificate may also be required.
  • If you are applying for a new ID card because it is about to expire, bring your existing ID card with your application.
  • If your ID card is lost or stolen, provide your passport, driving licence or birth certificate as proof of identity.
  • You do not need a photograph, it will be taken on the spot.

Thestandard time for issuing an eID is 30 days, but it is usually ready for collection sooner. The fastest time for issuing an eID card is within 24 hours on working days with collection of the document at a Ministry of the Interior office. eID cards can also be issued within 5 working days and can be collected at a Ministry of the Interior office or at the office where you applied for your ID card.

How much will I pay for an eID card?

If your existing ID card expires in less than 6 months, you can apply for a free replacement eID card.

If you need help with unblocking your IOK and DOK from your local authority, you will pay CZK 100 for assistance.

What is the difference between a chip ID card and an eID card?

On the ID card with chip, which was issued until 30 June 2018, you could only upload qualified certificates for electronic signature and authentication certificates. In contrast, the eObčanka is now also able to verify your identity on connected public administration portals when you want to do something online. If you have an original ID card with a chip and would like to exchange it for an eObčanka, you can apply for a free exchange.

What are eDocuments good for?

But let’s get back to the brand new app, eDocuments. This app has been in operation since January 2024 and uses one of the existing bank-type identities for primary identification. So, once you download the app, you just need to connect through this already established identity and no additional devices are required. The app will then link your identity to your ID itself and de facto download it to your mobile.

What does the eDocuments app entitle us to?

The app allows people to prove their identity through their mobile phone. There are several options for proving your identity – from revealing your full identity including name, birth, residence or marital status to more economical options where, for example, a young-looking lady can prove she is already eighteen after ordering an alcoholic cocktail in a bar. However, what her name is and where she lives does not have to be revealed to the bartender.

A digital ID card will also allow data to be copied into various forms, be it online shopping or booking flights.

Tip: Many of us still remember to carry our ID card at all times and never go out without it. However, this has not been the case for a number of years and no one should be penalised for not showing their ID. On what occasion and to whom do I need to prove my identity and how can I do so? Find out in our next article.

When will the app be fully functional?

From January, electronic documents should be accepted by central state administration bodies, i.e. ministries, the Czech Telecommunications Office, the Czech Statistical Office or the National Office for Cyber and Information Security. We tried it out at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and everything worked without any problems. Some municipalities can already volunteer to accept the application.

Hint: At 15 we can’t wait to see it, but then the enthusiasm wanes and it is purely a duty. We’re talking about the ID card. We don’t necessarily have to carry it, but we definitely have to have it. In our next article, we look at what an ID card is actually good for, how and where to get one and how much to pay for one. In addition, we’ll also give you advice on what to do if it’s lost or stolen.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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