China will require its citizens to register their fingerprints when applying for ID cards from January 2013 in a bid to curb counterfeit ID cards and ensure faster identification, according to the Ministry of Public Security. The first version of ID cards, launched in 1985, will be prohibited from use from Jan. 1, 2013. According to Huang, citizens applying for ID cards for the first time as well as those applying for replacement cards will be required to have their fingerprints taken. And those still holding valid second-version ID cards can register their fingerprints on a voluntary basis.
The move came after the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, adopted an amendment to the Resident Identity Card Law last year to require citizens’ fingerprints recorded when they apply for or change ID cards.