A law that took effect July 10 now requires Thai children as young as 7 to carry government identification cards.
The Children Identification Cards Act applies to youths ages 7-14. Parents have 60 days from their child’s seventh birthday to obtain a card.
Banglamung District Chief Chawalit Saeng-Uthai said 15,768 locally registered youths are affected in Banglamung, but many others whose parents maintain household registrations elsewhere also will have to obtain cards. He said Banglamung District can take up to 150 applications per day.
7-year-old Sarocha Pachaporn smiles after receiving her first ID card.
Registration got off to a bumpy start, however, with many parents showing up without all the required documents. Needed are birth certificates and household registration.
District staffer Lacha Inrot said her department was able to process only 60 applications the first day and 10 the second, because their computer system had crashed.
While she confidently predicted they’d be able to do more once the system came back up, the next day saw long delays, many complaints and a good number of people leaving in frustration.
For their part, kids seem to like the new cards, even if they didn’t understand the point that they’re supposed to carry the ID cards with them. Sarocha Pachaporn, 7, said she was happy she could get a card now, but would leave it with her mother so it didn’t get lost. Juthamas Sangkatum, 11, said she’d keep it herself, but stash it in a safe place.