Government to Provide Free National IDs, Official Says

The government may stop charging citizens for national identity cards and other legal documents before year’s end, the National Police chief said on Thursday.

“The government of Samdech Techo [Prime Minister Hun Sen] will eliminate charges for processing identity cards and birth, death and civil status certificates,” Neth Savoeun, the National Police commissioner, said on Thursday in a video posted on the National Police Commissariat’s Facebook page.

“The Ministry of Interior is writing a proposal to request a final decision from the government by the end of this year,” General Savoeun added.

The measure appeared to be a push by the ruling CPP for votes in the coming elections, said political analyst Meas Ny.

“The government cuts some taxes. They want to gain popularity, but people now are educated,” he said.

“I don’t know how it will be effective.”

Once citizens turn 18, they must get a national ID card, which costs 10,000 riel, or about $2.50.

Birth certificates are currently free and civil status certificates cost 15,000 riel, or $3.75, said Prok May Oudom, spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s general identification department.

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