What sort of information is included in the personal certificate?
The visual part (front side and the reverse) of the personal certificate includes the information from the Population Register about the holder of the personal certificate – name(-s), surname, personal identity code, citizenship or other legal status in the Republic of Latvia, date of birth, and gender. The visual part of the personal certificate also shows the image of the personal certificate’s holder (a photograph) and an image of signature, both being acquired during the processing of the application, as well as height in centimetres. Additionally, there is also included information on the personal certificate itself – its number, date of issuance, and date of expiry, as well as the issuing institution. A part from the textual information is copied on the reverse of the personal certificate in a machine-readable way to ease the process of checking the person’s personal certificate, when crossing the border, for example. The personal certificate access number (six figures) is shown in a machine-readable way at the bottom right corner on the front side.
In order to ensure additional safety of the personal certificate against forgery and the possibility to use it in the automatic border control systems, the personal certificates have and integrated no-contact microchip just like the new passports, which is an electronic data carrier and means of data processing. The no-contact microchip electronically includes the major part of the information available at the visual part of the personal certificate, as well as two images of the personal certificate holder’s fingerprints.
The personal certificate has also an integrated contact microchip integrated, similarly to the payment card or a mobile phone’s SIM card. The contact microchip is a safe tool of creating an electronic signature. The contact microchip includes data (keys and certificates) which are necessary for the holder of the personal certificate to verify his identity in an electronic environment or authenticate, as well as electronically sign the documents.
How does the personal certificate differ from the passport?
A personal certificate is a document, which is primarily made for inland use, within the territory of the Member States of the European Union, European Economic Area, and the Swiss Confederation, as well as a document, which can be used as a verification of identity in the electronic environment (authentication) and for use of electronic signature. The personal certificate cannot be used for travelling to countries where a visa regime or special arriving provisions exist. The personal certificate is more convenient for everyday use due to its size (a bankcard format document).
A passport is primarily a travelling document; however, it will be possible for inland use in future to verify your identity in presence.
Is it mandatory to obtain a personal certificate?
Pursuant to the Law on Personal Identification Documents, one of the personal identification documents is mandatory – a passport or a personal certificate. If you already have a valid passport, you are not obliged to obtain a personal certificate. If you have to obtain a new personal identification document, you can choose whether to obtain a passport, a personal certificate, or both documents. A person can simultaneously have one personal certificate and one passport (except for diplomatic and service passports).
What should I do if I want to activate the certificates included in the personal certificate?
The certificates included in the personal certificate are activated if you agree to activate the certificates in the application for issuing a personal certificate and undertake the obligations mentioned in the application, as well as sign the agreement on rendering certification services. If you initially refused from activation of certificates when receiving the personal certificate, you may request the activation of certificates during the personal certificate’s period of validity, going to any territorial division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs or a service of the Republic of Latvia in foreign countries by presenting the personal certificate and signing the corresponding application and agreement on rendering certification services.
Please do take into consideration that the period of certificates’ validity is 2 years. When the period of certificates’ validity will end, you will obtain a reminder on the indicated e-mail address (if the certificates will be activated) that you must renew the certificates. The certificate renewal service will be available from distance, i.e. from your computer and without an additional fee!
Additional questions or proposals regarding personal certificates (eID) can be sent to: eID@pmlp.gov.lv