A first pilot phase started February 14, 2007 in the Azores region. Full roll-out started in 2008 and more than 7 million cards were in circulation in January 2012. Numerous public services are now available online and procedures that would have taken hours (obtaining civil records/birth certificates, Social Security declaration, etc) now take a matter of seconds.
In 2007 Portugal ranked 3rd in terms of full online availability and 4th in terms of online sophistication. In 2009, Portugal shares the podium of the EC eGovernment benchmark with Malta on the two ‘traditional’ benchmark indicators. Both considered citizen and businesses services are fully online. The December 2010 report 'Digitizing Public Services in Europe: Putting ambition into action - 9th Benchmark Measurement' done for the EU commission showed that Portugal is now leading all 32 EU measured countries in the provision of online public services.
This project is also supported by actions such as a very active website