Digitization of ID Documents for the Republic of Albania
The Albanian government chose IDEMIA, the leader in Augmented Identity, to provide a modern identity management system and deliver secure biometric passports and national ID cards to its citizens. IDEMIA’s 40 years of expertise in identity management and biometrics have enabled Albanians to enter the EU Schengen Area without a visa.
Background and First Contract
The implementation of electronic ID documents such as passports and ID cards help governments create a safer environment for their citizens. Albania wants the most secure and modern ID system, especially as Albanian ID cards are compulsory for citizens over the age of 16. Furthermore, secure ID documents are needed for the country’s discussions with the EU. Albania is awaiting the green light to open the discussion before becoming a potential EU member. Being an EU member would facilitate its economic and cultural exchanges. In 2008, the Albanian government signed a concession contract with IDEMIA for an end-to-end identity management solution, from the design and personalization to the management of citizen enrollment and identity document distribution. IDEMIA established Aleat – a joint venture with AAEF (Albanian-American Enterprise Fund) in order to meet the precise project demands and timeline. Aleat, the concession company, was established in the record time of only five months, enabling citizens to vote in the June 2009 parliamentary elections with their ID documents in hand for the first time since 1991. In the first half of 2009, 1.4 million ID cards were produced and delivered, with over 25,000 cards produced daily at the height of the enrollment process. The partnership was such a tremendous success that the contract was renewed through to 2023.
Renewing the Concession Contract
In 2013, due to the success of the first five-year period, the Albanian government, represented by the Ministry of the Interior, extended the identity document production and distribution concession set up by Aleat for a ten-year period. IDEMIA will continue to produce and personalize the state-of-the-art identity documents, integrating additional enhanced security features. IDEMIA also delivered online identity services as part of its digital service initiative. This resulted in the creation of a secure platform that leverages eID cards, allowing citizens to access secure eServices.
The Albanian population is young, very energetic, and wants to travel. Now they have the means to do it!
Providing a High-tech End-to-End Solution in Only Five Months
From the beginning of this partnership, IDEMIA has proven its ability to deploy a large-scale identity project by providing an end-to-end solution in a short period of time. In 2019, Aleat will produce around 1,000,000 ID cards and over 400,000 biometric passports. As the ID documents have a validity of ten years, Aleat will face a peak in 2019 and 2020 production, which totals 2 million ID cards and 1 million passports per year.
Highest Security Enabling Schengen Access
Following the customer request for additional services, such as registration at the embassies and delivery of refugee cards, the EU granted Albanian citizens holding a biometric passport the right to travel throughout the Schengen Area without a visa. Moreover, in 2011 Aleat was awarded the ISO 27001 certification, proof of the dedication to maintain the highest security standards with regard to handling the identity management business process and citizens’ data.
A True Partnership
The Albanian Government has played a significant role in the accomplishment of this project. It has supported IDEMIA from the very beginning to ensure that everything was in place and that IDEMIA could set up the concession in the best possible environment. The government has also put some important incentives in place to promote the usage of the ID documents. Through an adapted legal framework, the usage of the new ID documents has become mandatory. An accompanying communication campaign helped Albania’s citizens to get familiar with the new documents.
The latest version of IDEMIA’s biometric passports for Albania brings significant benefits to the country’s citizens:
- A fast track process, enabling citizens to apply for and obtain a passport in 24 hours
- 200 service points located in 150 Albanian communes for convenience and ease of service
- Identity document service is present at embassies and consulates of seven countries: Greece, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, UK and USA In 2008, the Albanian passport ranked 155th in the Global Passport Power Rank. Thanks to the security of the new citizen enrollment process, namely the identity proofing, Albania’s passport ranked 42nd in 2019
Through their dedication, responsiveness and high standard of service, Aleat has met all the requirements set out for Albania’s electronic ID documents. The success has led us to extend the concession for a longer period.
Safe and Secure Access to Public and Private Sectors
IDEMIA accompanies the Albanian Government in the next phase of this pioneering eID project, providing convenient, seamless and secure access to eServices online. The IDEMIA e-Trusted Identity Services platform was deployed in line with the legal framework and other governmental initiatives.