Colombians will soon be able to use their mobile IDs as passports when traveling to a handful of other Latin American countries, thanks to a new government initiative.
The Cédula Digital Colombiana digital ID was first launched in 2020. It enables residents of the country to store a virtual version of their national ID card on their smartphone, supporting both iOS and Android devices. Now, the National Registry of Civil Status, which manages the platform, has announced an update that will let Colombians use it as their official ID when crossing the border to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, or Uruguay.
As NFCW reports, the announcement comes after a recent meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Council of Civil Registry, Identity and Vital Statistics, at which Colombia’s National Director of Identification, Didier Chilito, made comments gesturing to broader and more ambitious digital ID effort.
“Colombia, being a leader and promoter of these identification issues, wants to promote a digital identity standard for Latin America and the Caribbean,” he explained. “We hope to be able to integrate all the peer entities of civil registration and identification in the same objective.”
The Cédula Digital update echoes Apple’s mobile ID project in the United States, where the tech giant has been working with the Transportation Security Administration to gets its virtual driver’s license solution accepted as an official ID at airports. Both projects can be understood within a more general, global trend toward digital ID.
Like Apple’s mobile ID and a number of other emerging solutions, Cédula Digital uses biometric technology as part of its enrolment process, which entails downloading the digital ID app, scanning a QR code, and submitting a selfie photo for a facial recognition scan.
It isn’t yet clear when exactly Cédula Digital will be officially accepted in lieu of a passport among Colombia’s partner states, but Director Chilito indicated to his CLARCIEV colleagues that his country’s digital ID project would unfold in “the coming months”.