Electronic ID card problems, what’s going on

Introduced in 2016, the adoption path of the ID card has never been linear. Between October 2017 and February 2018, defective cards were distributed

We'll say the start could certainly have been better. Between delays in the launch and adoption by municipalities, bureaucratic delays and other hiccups of various kinds, the first months of life of the electronic ID card were not the best.

Nay, despite the long-term planning, the Italian bureaucratic apparatus seems to have been caught a bit by surprise by the launch of the electronic ID card, accumulating delays and various inaccuracies. And now that it is on its way to becoming fully operational, another heavy tile has fallen on the project to digitalize the Public Administration of our country. Due to some problems in the design and implementation of the cards, over 350 thousand electronic ID cards are unusable. But let's proceed in order.

What is the electronic ID card

Introduced on an experimental basis from the first half of 2016 in 153 Italian municipalities, the electronic ID card is a plastic card similar in size to a credit card and equipped with an NFC chip. Inside the card there is a digital version of our personal data, signature and photo; in addition, the electronic identity card also contains the consent to organ donation and electronic domicile (phone number, e-mail address or PEC address where you can be reached by the public administration in case of need).

Defective electronic identity card, what happens and what to do

In the last weeks, many citizens in possession of the electronic digital card are reporting several problems to use the services guaranteed by the identity document, especially in case of travel abroad. As reported by Antonio Decaro, President of the National Association of Italian Municipalities, about 350 thousand electronic ID cards, issued between October 2017 and February 2018, have failed. Produced within various establishments of the Poligrafico delle Stato, the electronic IDs have problems with the NFC chips, which would not have been updated with the latest version of the software nor tested and would be (partly) illegible. From the Poligrafico they say that the ID cards maintain unchanged their characteristics of safe instrument of identification and would not have caused problems to any citizen, neither on the national territory, nor abroad.

What to do if you have a faulty electronic ID card? In case of problems, you can turn to your municipality of residence: Poligrafico has started a free replacement campaign that should lead to the replacement of failed cards within a year.