Soviet-era paper internal passports will be replaced in Russia by plastic cards in two years, the Federal Migration Service said Sunday.
Since early 2016, the circulation of paper passports will cease in Russia and plastic cards similar to those carried by EU citizens will become the main type of identification document, the service said.
A pilot project to test the use of new cards with a chip, which will be valid for 10 years, is expected to be already launched in mid-2015 in a number of Russian regions.
The measure, part of the government’s effort to make the country’s documentation system more up-to-date, will allow a total of 122 million Russians aged 14 and over to get access to “any kind of electronic services,” Nikolai Nikiforov, the minister of communications and mass media, wrote on Twitter.
Internal passports functioned as an ID card and record of place of registration in the USSR. Countries that retain internal passports include Ukraine and North Korea.