Laos National Identity Card System Remains Out of Order

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A system error that brought down the national identity card database in Laos has yet to be resolved, leaving residents unable to receive ID cards.

The database, administered by the Department of Census Management and Grassroots Development, under the Ministry of Public Security, suffered a catastrophic database error in September that meant ID cards could not be produced.

Residents were told by authorities to use their family registration booklets to as photo-identification until the national identity card system could be restored.

According to the department, an error in the database software has prevented the issuance of new cards. A failed backup power system and the signal network have also been blamed.

Residents have expressed displeasure on social media regarding the delay in system restoration, with those needing a new ID card for essential purposes particularly dissatisfied.

A notice issued by the Chanthabouly District Office informs Lao citizens, employees, and civil servants who have come to renew their national ID cards that the system is currently unavailable due to an error.
A notice issued by the Chanthabouly District Office informs Lao citizens, employees, and civil servants who have come to renew their national ID cards that the system is currently unavailable due to an error.

“Officers told me that I would have to wait until next year to get my national identity card issued,” one resident told the Laotian Times.

The nature of the error that brought the system down has not been made public, and no information has been provided as to how long it will take to be restored.

A national identity card is a compulsory form of identification in Laos, issued by the Ministry of Public Security on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is the main form of identification for citizens of Laos.