Changes aiming to simplify and electronicize certain procedures in public administration

A new amendment package was approved in the middle of December 2019. The package includes many novelties affecting the validity and issuance of driver’s licenses, the documents of newborns, document modifications due to marriage, procedures related to death and identity checks conducted by the police.

The main feature of this modernization is the introduction of video technology that will enable the clients to identify themselves completely electronically during procedures without the need of appearing in person at the authorities. This electronic (remote) identification will be viable either by the use of robots installed at the authority offices, appropriate home desktop computers or compatible civilian-owned mobile devices.

An additional change is for example that, it will be possible for the new drivers to start driving right after the successful driving exam, and the driver’s license will be issued automatically without any application or request procedure. The portraits and signatures required for the issuance of the driver’s license will be automatically retrieved from the personal data and address register or from the passport register, provided that a less than three years old portrait is available. If there is no adequate portrait available, the driver can use the above mentioned electronic (remote) methods to supply one.

Newborns born in Hungarian institutions with clear legal statuses, whose registration is initiated by a health care provider, will receive ex officio a birth certificate, ID card, address and social security card. These documents will be served in a single package when leaving the hospital.

The issuance of new documents (i.e. ID cards, tax cards, address cards, social security cards, driver’s licenses, passports, etc.) due to name changes arising from marriage will also be handled automatically, without the need of a request. In addition, it will be possible to completely automate the biometric identification system, which, as of now, operates semi-automatically, resulting in that portraits are compared automatically, but a human verification is required at the end of the process.

Due to the overload and lack of manpower in the public administration system, the above changes are naturally welcome, however, they also raise questions relating to the compliance with data protection rules within the European Union. It is also very important to develop user friendly applications and interfaces, so that everyone can really benefit from the electronization.

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