Integrated smart IDs to be issued next month

The government will soon start issuing integrated smart Identity Cards that have several identification features, The New Times has learnt.
A youth poses for a national ID picture. Timothy Kisambira.
A youth poses for a national ID picture. Timothy Kisambira.

The government will soon start issuing integrated smart Identity Cards that have several identification features, The New Times has learnt.

In an exclusive interview last week, Pascal Nyamurinda, the Director General of National Identification Agency (NIDA), said his institution is currently dealing with technical work and sensitisation, in preparation for the issuance of integrated smart ID cards.

“We hope to be done next month and then citizens will start applying for the integrated smart ID cards,” he said.

The card has seven identification features, which include the personal identification, details of driving license, passport, family dependants/members, social security (RSSB), health insurance and a tax identification number.   

How it will work

While it is compulsory for all citizens aged 16 years and above to have a national ID, the integrated smart ID card is optional.

According to the official, the holder will determine which service they want integrated in their ID.

The applicant will obtain a form from a NIDA staff in decentralised entities and it is on this form where the applicant will clearly indicate the services they want.

The form will be brought back to the NIDA headquarters for verification of the information. This information will be integrated in the system before printing out the card.

On how long an applicant will have to wait for the ID, Nyamurinda said it will depend on the staff involved in the process in each district, other logistics and the need to verify and authenticate all the information provided.

Nyamurinda noted that, upon acquisition of the integrated ID card, the beneficiary will be required to surrender the ordinary card.   

While the cost of the National ID is Rwf500, the integrated card will cost Rwf15,000, considering the expenses involved in buying the special paper and printing, the official said.

Benefits

Speaking about the benefits, Nyamurinda said: “It will help people to seek several services using only one card while also facilitating institutional information management system.”

In the country, the integrated smart identification card will be used optimally, while, in the region and abroad the bearer will only use it if Rwanda has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the host country.

“Like currently for example, we are using our IDs as travel documents in Uganda and Kenya,” Nyamurinda said, adding that with time, different countries will come on board.

Athanase Ruhumuriza, a businessman from Kigali welcomed this move.

“It is a good move. We will no longer suffer the burden of carrying so many cards in a wallet which is challenging because in case of loss, you need to go to different institutions to report the case. The new document will help save time and money since one will only have to go to one institution.”

Ruhumuriza said at the launch he will apply to have his driving license, passport, and his tin number embedded in the card.

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