First country in the world: Digital passport is legal


Ukraine is the first country in the world in which digital passports in smartphones have become complete legal analogues of ordinary documents.

It is enough for Ukrainians to have a phone with a digital passport for any life situation that requires a passport. Biometric passport and ID-card in Action from August 23, 2021 at the legislative level will be a complete analogue of paper and plastic. Ukraine is an innovator in the use of digital documents.

The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) in the second reading adopted the bill № 4355 “On the Unified State Demographic Register and documents confirming the citizenship of Ukraine, identity or special status” on digital passports. Voting sesssion: 302 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada – “YES”.


Ukraine is the first country in the world to launch digital passports and legally equate them to ordinary documents. Action users will no longer face situations where a digital passport is not accepted. This is not just an important event in the history of modern Ukraine and a big step towards the introduction of a paperless regime. This is a unique world case that we can and should be proud of.

Mikhail Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Digital Transformation

Image: The Ministry of Digital Affairs

The Ministry of Digital Affairs launched digital passports in the mobile application Action in April last year. Digital passports are much safer and more comfortable than paper ones. Now, they can be used by about 20 million Ukrainians; more than 5.5 million of them have an ID card and another 18 million are holders of foreign biometric passports. Since its launch, their use has been an experimental project and regulated by a relevant resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.


The bill will provide for the possibility of using electronic documents in a mobile application on a par with ordinary passports. This is the first step towards the introduction of a paperless regime in Ukraine – when public authorities will not have the right to demand paper documents, if the information is already in the registers. You will be able to choose which passport you use today

Mykhailo Kryachko, Chairman of the Committee on Digital Transformation


It will be possible to present digital passports on the territory of Ukraine for identification and confirmation of citizenship, except in cases of crossing the State border, entering and leaving the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. The approved bill also defines the terminology, in particular the use of e-passports.

Ukrainians can already use digital passports in most life situations. They are accepted by CNAPs for the provision of public services, government agencies and courts. Digital passports can be used to receive items in the mail, to confirm age in supermarkets, in banks – to confirm identity and cash transactions, as well as to open a bank account online. With digital passports you can also travel to Ukraine by plane and train, check into a hotel and more.

Digital documents in the smartphone are also used in Poland and South Korea. Similar projects are being implemented in the UK, Finland and the USA. Estonian citizens use a digital ID card, with which they can receive public services online, manage bank accounts, and vote online. However, Ukraine is the first country in the world where digital passports in smartphones have legally gained the same force as paper and plastic documents.

In September 2021, Ukraine will begin entering the paperless regime – public authorities will not have the right to require paper documents if the necessary information is already in the registers. And the adoption of the law on digital passports is one of the most important steps towards this, because the passport is the main document for obtaining public services. It will also launch a large-scale digitalization of business and government and simplify internal processes for launching new digital products.

The bill was developed with the assistance of the EGAP Program, funded by the Government of Switzerland and implemented by the Eastern Europe Foundation, SURGe with the support of the Government of Canada.

Source: The Ministry of Digital Affairs

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