9 November 2018

HONG KONG: New smart ID cards 

Authorities in Hong Kong are implementing a new smart identity card which will replace the existing Hong Kong identity card (HKIC).

Effective 26 November 2018, the new ID cards are issued to new arrivals and applicants that fall within specific categories.

In December, a card replacement program will begin in phases, where existing card holders will be invited to exchange their existing ID with the new smart card. It is estimated that the replacement exercise will span four years. The schedule for the first phase is in accordance with years of birth, and is planned as follows:

  • 27 Dec 2018 – 30 March 2018: Members of the Immigration Service, police officers, labour inspectors
  • 21 Jan 2019 – 30 March 2019: Existing Hong Kong ID cards holders born in 1985 or 1986
  • 1 April 2019 – 1 June 2019: Existing Hong Kong ID cards holders born in 1968 or 1969

The details of next phases, including information on other years of birth, will be communicated at a later stage.

A new online appointment booking system, electronic forms, self-service kiosks and smart HKIC replacement centres will be introduced to increase the efficiency of the process.

The new smart identity card has improved in its durability, security features as well as the chip technology and protection of personal data and is intended to last for 15 years.

How does this affect the client?

Employees and their families holding the existing ID cards should be aware of the replacement schedule and ensure they change their cards. 



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