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New smart Hong Kong ID cards to be rolled out from November

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The Immigration Department (ImmD) has announced that it is to start issuing new-style smart Hong Kong identity (HKID) cards from next month.

The rollout will begin on Monday November 26, 2018, with anyone applying on or after this date set to receive a the new format of card. This includes applications for both adult and juvenile ID cards.

A territory-wide exercise to replace all existing cards will begin on Thursday December 27, 2018. In a statement on its website, the ImmD said that holders of existing HKID cards will be invited to attend one of nine newly established Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres in phases, according to their year of birth, with members of the immigration service, police officers and labour inspectors being called first. There will be no fee for the replacement cards.

An online system will be made available so that members of the public can book appointments and pre-fill forms in advance. Self-service registration kiosks and self-service collection kiosks will also be introduced to provide a more convenient service to the public.

In order to make the process as easy as possible for the elderly, HKID holders with older relatives will be permitted to bring along two family members aged 65 or over to replace their cards at the same visit.

The ImmD has reassured residents who are overseas when they are contacted that there is no need to rush back, as they will be able to apply for a new card within 30 days of their return to Hong Kong.

It is estimated that the replacement exercise will take around four years to complete.

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