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Children to get national ID card at age six

Thursday, February 08, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Under the National Identification System (NIDS) children will be registered at birth and given a National Identification Number (NIN) and an identification card at age six.

Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, noted that all children six years old and above will be required to have a national identification card. The first card will be issued free of cost to parents or guardians.

“Section 25.2 of the (National Identification and Registration) law provides for the national ID to be free of cost, so there is going to be no cost to the citizen to get the national ID. When you get your national ID, you're going to be receiving two things. You're getting a national identification number, which we refer to as the NIN and you get your national identification card,” Lynch-Stewart said.

She was speaking at a NIDS town hall meeting held recently at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus.

National identification cards will also have renewal dates based on the age of the holder.

“We're going to have to renew our cards, so between ages zero and 18, the requirement is that you renew every five years. From 18 to 60 years, the renewal period is every 10 years and for those over 60 years, it will be every 15 years. The younger you are the more often you have to renew because your facial image changes, so that's the basis on which that decision was taken,” she explained.

Following the implementation of NIDS, Jamaican citizens and legal residents will require only one ID to access government and private-sector services. This is to ensure the safety and the security of their identities, boost efficiency and reduce costs, while improving quality of life.

The roll-out of NIDS is slated to begin with a pilot project in January 2019, focusing on civil servants. The layered roll-out and management of the NIDS will be handled by a new agency, the National Identification and Registration Authority, which will replace the Registrar General's Department and provide more enhanced services.

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