Smart ID Exhibition reminds citizens renewal program is drawing to a close
- By: Hanzhi YANG、Yiyang LIEdited by: Tsz Yin HO、Ming Min AW YONG
The last application date for replacement of new smart identity cards at the Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres (SIDCCs) has been extended from the original date, February 11 to March 3. Meanwhile, the identity card collection service will be maintained through to March 3, 2023.
A roving exhibition by the Immigration Department has been held in PopCorn mall in Tseung Kwan O from February 8 to 9. The exhibition aimed to promote publicity on applications for smart identity cards and appeals for ID cards.
Failing to apply for a new ID card within the time limit would be against the law unless there is a reasonable excuse and could result in a maximum fine of HK $5,000. Hongkongers are also not allowed to keep their old ID cards and are required to return them to the Registration of Persons Office. Those found in possession of more than one ID card can be fined up to HK$5000 and imprisoned for two years without a reasonable excuse.
The exhibition includes showcases of ID card history, panels showing the requirements for the renewal of ID cards, and the rules for applying for the new smart ID cards. There are also staff from the immigration department stationed to help citizens with any enquiries about the replacement.
According to the information shown in the exhibition, the new smart ID card uses a variety of new security features, including colourful UV patterns that appear under ultraviolet light, which improves overall security measures. The new smart ID cards are also more durable than the old ID cards.
“Most of the people we helped and explained to are the elderly, and this exhibition surely provided them with what they needed to know," said Lin Si-en, a staff member of the immigration department.
Neighbours staying near the mall are also attracted by the showcases in the exhibition.
"It was the first time I saw how ID cards looked decades ago," said Yoyo Zhang, a five-year-old kindergarten student visiting the exhibition.
Hong Kong residents who are not able to replace their existing old ID cards can apply for a replacement within 30 days of their return to Hong Kong. However, the SIDCCs will stop operating from March 4, 2023. Hence, eligible members of the public who have not applied for or collected their new smart identity card can do so before March 3, 2023, at a Registration of Persons Office.
Hong Kong identity cards have been issued in the form of smart cards since 2003. Under the implementation of the Next Generation Smart Identity Card System, a new smart identity card has been issued starting from 26 November 2018 to gradually replace the old form of smart identity card.
The Territory-wide Identity Card Replacement Exercise started ever since December 27, 2018.
The scheme covers all Hong Kong citizens, therefore both permanent and non-permanent residents are required to apply for new permits within the time limit according to their age groups.
《The Young Reporter》
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