Rwandan residents, including children under five, refugees, and stateless people, are set to get digital identity cards (IDs) within three years following Parliament’s approval of the law governing population registration in the national system of single digital identity (SDID). All the 59 MPs who were present at the plenary session that was convened for the adoption of the law, on May 26, unanimously voted for it. On April 20, the Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, told lawmakers that Rwanda planned to issue digital ID cards within three years to replace the current physical IDs. She said that Rwanda signed a financing agreement for the $40 million for the execution of the digital ID system, but that the disbursement of the funds will be done after the law has been enacted – to pave the way for the project implementation. The World Bank-funded project is for five years, adding that one year has already elapsed, which means that only four years remain, she indicated. While explaining the relevance of the bill to lawmakers, Ingabire indicated the bill is expected to provide solutions to a number of problems, including the situation where there is a category of the population who were not catered for in terms of ID provision, such as stateless people (neither counted among foreigners nor refugees) and other undocumented people while they needed services. Also, data relating to the identification of persons were scattered and conflicting in different databases of various institutions, which will be addressed by having the data in one single digital ID system. Another issue is that the current law could not enable capturing and managing and authenticating people's biometric information. ALSO READ: Experts on how digital ID will make life easier Among other provisions, the law stipulates that if a registered person changes the domicile, the person notifies within seven days, the registration centre of the new domicile electronically, or by any other means as may be determined by the Authority. The new registration is done within 15 days starting from the date of receipt of a verified registration location change request. Data in IDs The data required in the national population registry include national identification number; name(s), gender; date of birth; place of birth; nationality; marital status; and spouse name. Others are telephone number, if any; email address, if any; domicile address; biometrics data: front-facing photograph; full set of fingerprints, depending on the age; iris scan, depending on age; and any other biometrics data as may be determined by the Authority. ALSO READ: Rwanda’s Digital ID: Iris scans, fingerprints help recovery when lost In case the biometrics data are not fully available, only obtainable biometrics data are captured in the national population registry, the bill proposes. Data on child According to the bill, when a child is below five years old, only the biographic data and front-facing photograph are collected, and the child's SDID number is linked to his or her national identification number and to that of a holder of parental responsibility over the child in accordance with relevant Laws. When a child is at least five years old, complete biometrics data of the child is captured and subsequent periodic biometrics data collections are set by the Authority. Once a child attains 16 years of age, their complete biometrics data are also re-collected.