Alongside Belgium, Latvia’s Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of the Ministry of Interior was awarded for the country’s new national eID card launched in September 2019.

Designed to be futureproof the new Latvian eID card has gone far beyond in enhancing security and functionality of its predecessor.

The card’s polycarbonate body smartly combines numerous security elements while focusing on protection of the primary identifier – the bearer’s face. Portrait of the cardholder is repeated three times using three different techniques achievable with a laser.

The main photo is relying on IDEMIA’s state of the art LASINK technology, allowing to have colourful image easy to authenticate in the first line inspection. A secondary photo is embedded in lenticular structure and consists of 4 differently angled images making the face appear 3-dimentional (SLI/FLI), and a third photo is engraved into the non-regular shape clear window being visible from both sides of the card.

The LASINK technology is supported by overlapping positive surface relief structures and transparent DOVID (DID).

Electronically this dual interface multi-application card benefits from open and secure JavaCard platform (ID-One Cosmo v8) hosting several applets, including EU eMRTD app with face and fingerprint biometrics protected by BAC/SAC, PA and EAC mechanisms, as well as eID app to provide its holder eIDAS compliant qualified electronic signature creation device and key component to electronic identification scheme for accessing eServices locally and in the EU scale.

Card’s eFunctions are made available via both contact and contactless interfaces, allowing smoother integration with NFC capable smart devices and terminals. Allocated free memory space and post-issuance applet loading and management capabilities allows to extend functionality even for cards already in the field, for example, it is planned to have additional applet for managing public transportation discounts from 2021.

Since first introduction in 2012 eID card in Latvia has been well adopted reaching above 50% penetration rate, but to even more boost cards usage for eServices and eSignature, Latvian authorities have decided to make the new eID card compulsory from 2023 and equip all population with this versatile and contemporary tool of identification.

The award was presented to Eriks Vismanis of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of the Latvian Ministry of Interior, and Philippe Barreau and Sanda Ruza of IDEMIA.