NIRA Sets Deadline for National ID Registration & Renewal For all Ugandans Above 16yrs

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The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has announced a deadline for the registration of all citizens above the age of 16. According to NIRA, Ugandans are expected to have registered for their national identification cards by November of this year.

Speaking to the media, NIRA Executive Director Rosemary Kisembo stated that this registration push is in preparation for the upcoming 2026 elections, in which individuals who are 16 years old and above will be eligible to vote. Kisembo emphasized the need to have all eligible citizens registered well in advance of the electoral process.

“The voters register is prepared 2 years before the voting exercise, so people who are 16 will be eligible to vote in 2026,” Kisembo clarified during her address.

The national identity mass enrolment exercise is set to begin in June of 2024, with a duration of ten months. It will take place across 10,717 parishes throughout the country. This enrollment campaign is a requirement outlined in Section 5 of the NIRA Act, which focuses on creating, managing, and maintaining a national identification register.

“We have a task to onboard every Ugandan onto the National Identification Register. Section 5 of our act says we create, manage, and maintain a national identification register,” Kisembo highlighted.

NIRA also emphasized that all Ugandans, regardless of age, sex, religion, background, occupation, or clan, are entitled to a National Identification Number (NIN). However, those above 16 years of age are additionally entitled to a national identification card.

To facilitate the enrollment process, the recruitment of Registration Assistants and renewal procedures will be carried out at the district level. District Coordination Teams will oversee the applicant screening, led by Resident District Commissioners (RDCs).

In a move to streamline the registration process and make it more convenient, NIRA will provide an online pre-registration platform. Applicants will have the opportunity to pre-register from the comfort of their homes before visiting enrollment centers to have their biometrics captured.

The mass enrollment and renewal exercise will be conducted in all parishes across the country. This effort aims to renew all National ID cards issued between 2014 and 2015, which had a validity period of 10 years.

In addition to capturing the usual biometrics such as the face and ten fingerprints, the exercise will also include the iris for registration in the National Identification register. This comprehensive approach to biometrics will enhance the accuracy and security of the identification process.

“We are increasing the biometrics on the register for inclusivity so that if your fingerprints are damaged at least your iris will help us uniquely identify you, she noted.

The renewal process, originally scheduled to commence in June 2022, was postponed due to delays in preparations and funding. However, NIRA is now determined to move forward and ensure that every eligible citizen is documented in the national identification system.

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