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Govt to start registration for renewal of National IDs in June 2024

Kampala, (UG):- The Ministry of Internal Affairs has revealed that registration for the renewal of expiring Identity Cards (IDs) will start in June this year as the government looks to beat the deadline of the expiry of current IDs in May 2025.

The development was Tuesday revealed by the Minister of State in the Ministry, Gen David Muhoozi who told parliament that the mass enrolment exercise which will also allow for new registrations is expected to run up to January 2025.

According to Gen Muhoozi, the delay in the commencement of the exercise has largely been caused by the gaps in preparations at the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA), including absence of funds for the recruitment of registration staff, and delays in the procurement of necessary systems, among others.

The Minister was responding to concerns raised by the MPs that the delays, and failure to have the upgraded IDs on time, could plunge the country into gross hiccups as the document has become central to life and business.

He added that as of now, the government lack money to cater for the recruitment of registration staff even as a Shs300b supplementary budget was passed for the process. He said only Shs192b was allocated to the cause in quarter three.

However, Gen Muhoozi said all other preparations are underway including training of NIRA staff in India on the new National Security Information System with the procurement of the system and other supporting accessories also ongoing.

Why Expiry IDs?

Wakiso Woman MP, Ethel Naluyima (NUP) advised the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its stakeholders to borrow leads from “neighboring countries that do not renew after every 10 years as long as someone has made 18 years, and continues to use similar biometrics.”

Responding to her suggestion, Gen Muhoozi defended the renewal saying; “this was premised on the idea that the security features of these IDs degenerate with time.” He added; “So too, the physical features of persons, which also change over time hence requiring renewal within 10 years.”

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The Minister also explained that NIRA will add the iris as an additional biometric feature to the new ID card, and they will also have a security feature that can be detected under Ultra Violet in addition to the UV Bi-fluor Red.

This according to Gen Muhoozi is to further make this card difficult to duplicate and allow for persons with UV Light to test if a card is genuine

According to the NIRA’s public notice explaining the Mass Enrollment and Mass Renewal, every Ugandan who is above 16 years old is eligible to get an ID.

The forthcoming enrolment targets a person who has never applied for registration of a national identification card or National Identification Number (NIN), or a person who applied but has never received a NIN.

The first batch of current Identity Cards were issued in 2014 and 2015 with a 10-year life span setting expiry between August 2024 and June 2025, and holders of such IDs will need to apply for renewal to be issued a new ID, but the NIN will remain the same.

However, DailyExpress understands that holders of IDs whose expiration date is beyond 2025 are not required to renew during the mass renewal exercise.

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Any renewal fees?

NIRA indicated that despite a statement ousted last year that the renewal would be paid for, this has been scrapped and there will be no fee for renewing and enrolling for the IDs. However, those who need express services to get their IDs within 48 hours will attract a fee.

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