Regarding the national identity card

Every Rwandan aged sixteen years and above is obligated to possess a national identity card. According to LAW N°14/2008 OF 04/6/2008 governing registration of the population and issuance of the national identity card, issuance of the national identity card shall occur within six months of attaining the age.

It is criminal to fail to acquire a national identity card or its replacement in case of loss or damage. This is according to article 5 of law no44/2018 of 13/08/2018 inserting article 12 of law n°14/2008 of 04/6/2008 governing registration of the population and issuance of the national identity card. Anyone found guilty of this is liable to a fine of ten thousand Rwandan francs.

Only the government of Rwanda has the mandate to issue national identity cards. Forgery, fabrication, and falsification of the card are punishable under article 7 of law no44/2018 of 13/08/2018 inserting article 14 of law n°14/2008 of 04/6/2008 governing registration of the population and issuance of the national identity card. For such an offense, the culprit is liable to a maximum term of imprisonment of seven years and/or a maximum fine of five million Rwandan francs. The punishment is higher if the crime is committed by a public servant.

It’s illegal to deliver, lend or receive the national identity card unless you’re entitled to it. This is according to article 8 of law no44/2018 of 13/08/2018 inserting article 15 of law n°14/2008 of 04/6/2008 governing registration of the population and issuance of the national identity card.

The punishment for lending an identity card for unlawful use is a term of imprisonment not less than five years and not exceeding seven years and/or to pay a fine ranging from three million to five million Rwandan francs.

For delivering an identity card to someone who is not entitled to it, article 7 of law no44/2018 of 13/08/2018 says that that upon conviction, such a person is “liable to imprisonment for term of not less than seven (7) years and not more than ten (10) years and a fine of not less than three million Rwandan francs (FRW 3,000,000) and not more than five million Rwandan francs (FRW 5,000,000) or only one of these penalties.”   

Article 7 of Law no44/2018 of 13/08/2018 also sets punishment for anyone who receives the identity card knowing that he/she is ineligible. It states: “upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for term of not less than five (5) years and not more than seven (7) years and a fine of not less than three million Rwandan francs (FRW 3,000,000) and not more than five million Rwandan francs (FRW 5,000,000) or only one of these penalties.”

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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