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Digital ICs to be accepted for identity verification at all government agencies

SINGAPORE: All Government agencies will accept the digital identity card (IC) on the Singpass app from Monday (Nov 1) as an alternative means of proof.

This means people will no longer need to bring their physical identity card when making transactions at government counters, polyclinics and public libraries, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said on Thursday.

However, some exceptions apply, such as when the legislation requires a physical identity document such as for marriage registrations and hotel check-ins.

Physical identification cards will also be required for investigations under the Criminal Procedure Code and/or the National Registration Act. The physical IC also needs to be surrendered for National Service enlistment or when joining the Singapore Armed Forces.

Services that require physical ICs

  • Registry of Marriage
  • Hotel check-ins
  • Investigations under the Criminal Procedure Code and/or the National Registration Act
  • IC registration, re-registration, replacement, citizenship completion of formalities, renunciation of citizenship or permanent residence, revocation or reinstatement of permanent residence
  • Entering secured premises such as SAF camps, in which a photo ID is required as collateral for passes
  • National Service enlistment or joining the Singapore Armed Forces, during which a physical IC is surrendered
  • National examinations at educational institutions that may have policies concerning the use of mobile phones on premises

“We are working on amending the legislation to formalise the use of Digital IC for these exceptions,” SNDGO and GovTech said.

The digital IC feature, which was introduced in May last year, is now displayed prominently on the app homepage for easy access.

Security measures are in place to protect the user’s identity, as the digital IC serves as an official identification document, SNDGO and GovTech added.

The digital IC features the user’s latest photograph provided to the Government and is accompanied by an animated and holographic lion crest to prevent image tampering and screenshot spoofing.

In addition, users’ NRIC numbers or FIN are masked by default to protect their privacy during transactions, and user authentication is required to view the full details on the digital IC.

Should the mobile phone be misplaced, users can unlink it on the Singpass website or install the Singpass app on another phone to automatically deactivate it on the lost device.

“Today, 97 per cent of Singapore citizens and permanent residents aged 15 years old and above have Singpass accounts, making it one of the most pervasively adopted national digital identity systems in the world,” SNDGO and GovTech said.

It added that the app has more than 3.2 million users.

Source: CNA/ga(mi)


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