YEREVAN, December 19. /ARKA/. Armenia's police passport and visa department will start providing identification cards (ID) to Armenian citizens instead of passports on January 1, 2014, Norayr Muradkhanyan, chief of the department said on Thursday adding that the department will no longer issue the old-type passports.
He said old passports will be in force until expiration of their validity terms, and these passport holders are not obliged to get ID cards or biometric passports.
To get an ID passport, one has to pay 3,000 drams ($7.4) as state duty. However, persons under 16 who get their passport for the first time and those citizens receiving poverty benefits are exempted from payment.
Biometric passports will be needed only for trips abroad.
«Introduction of passports with biometric data is implied by European Neighborhood Program,» he said. «It will help Armenian citizens in their movement abroad and will facilitate the procedure of obtaining visas for trips to European countries. The passport validity term is 10 years.»
Citizens wanting to get biometrical passports have to pay 25,000 drams ($61.6). ID cards and biometrical passports will be provided to citizens within 15 business days or within five business days, if necessary, for additional 5,000 drams.
Muradkhanyan said some 91,000 citizens already have ID cards, and about 4,500 have biometric passports. --0----