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ABOUT NIDS

1.1 The National Identification System (NIDS) is:

1. A National Identity Database system uniquely designed to house your biographic, biometric and demographic information in highly secure, standalone environments
2. A system that is used to facilitate the production and issuance of multipurpose National Identification Cards (NIC) and National Identification Numbers (NIN) for every registered individual.
3. A tool for providing Identity Verification services to the private and public sector
4. A means of streamlining and eliminating the duplication of individuals in public sector databases
5. The ecosystem for transforming Jamaica into a digital society.

1.2 Why is the National Identification System (NIDS) important for Jamaica?

This initiative is critically important because:

  1. For the first time, every citizen and resident of Jamaica has a single source of trusted identity verification, which is valid for transactions across public and private sectors, regardless of age, mobility, sex, or status;
  2. For the first time every registered individual is entitled to obtain from the Government all the requests made against their personal data for verification;
  1. For the first time, unauthorized access to your personal data will be an offence.

1.3 The National Identification System (NIDS) provides:

  1. A Lifetime Identifier Number, which can be independently linked to records, making government transactions across ministries and agencies more robust.
  2. Faster identity verification which will lead to reduced customer wait times in government agencies and organisations, resulting in greater productivity and efficiency
  3. Improved immigration and border control, national security, and revenue assurance
  4. Individual identity protection
  5. Fraud and identity theft reduction
  6. Efficient access to public and private sector services
  7. Increased efficiencies in access to financial services
  8. Greater financial and social inclusion for all citizens
  9. Business improvements as result of less fraud
  10. Ecosystem for Jamaica to become a digital economy

1.4 Who is eligible to register and enrol for the National Identification System (NIDS)?

The criteria for eligible persons are as follows:
1. Any individual who is a citizen of Jamaica
2. Permanent lawful residents of Jamaica
3. Temporary residents of Jamaica lawfully residing in Jamaica for a period of six months or more

1.5 What is the National Identification Number (NIN)?

The National Identification Number (NIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned to an individual for life, upon successful enrolment into the National Identification Database. The NIN is used to unequivocally assert a person’s identity.

1.6 What is the National Identification Card (NIC)?

The National Identification Card (NIC) is a unique card issued to a registered individual and verified individual. The NIC includes your NIN, photo, address,  manual signature and match on cards applications to support authentication online.

THE BENEFITS

2.1 Why do I need another National Identification?

The National Identification System (NIDS) is the first and only truly national identification available to all Jamaican citizens and legal residents.  It provides a unique identifier from birth through to death, enabling; more effective verification of identity; elimination of multiple IDs; better protection from identity fraud; reduced instances of mistaken identity; better prevention of child and adult trafficking, are some of the benefits.

2.2 Why not use the TRN, Driver’s Licence, Passport, NIS Number or Electoral ID?

The Taxpayers Registration Number (TRN), National Driver’s Licence, Passport, National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Number and Electoral ID all have a specific purpose and, by design restrict some citizens and legal residents from having a single source of trusted identity.  The portfolio of government ID cards are very expensive to support and will be phased out overtime, consistent with government policies.

2.3 What will happen to the Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN)?

The TRN is separate from the National Identification Number (NIN) and will continue to be used with regards to tax matters, for example: companies will continue using TRN while individuals existing tax records will be linked to your new NIN.

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2.4 I have an Electoral ID, why do I have to re-submit my data to the Government?

The purpose of the Voter’s List is to identify persons who may wish to exercise their right to vote and cannot be used for any other purpose. The Voter’s List is a separate, stand-alone list, which is not shared with any other Government agency or regulatory body, private sector body or external entity for any purpose. This is done to protect the integrity of the Voter’s List.  Future government polices will determine how the NIN and NIC is used for verifying individuals during the preparation of Voter’s List by the EOJ.

2.5 Will there still be a census?

The National Identification System (NIDS) collects information, which is also relevant to the National Census.  Following the implementation of NIDS an evaluation will be made regarding the census.  The non-identifiable data that is collected during enrolment will not be attached to individual profiles and will be used to support national planning and decision making.

 

 

 

WHO MANAGES NIDS?

3.1 Which Government Ministry or Agency will be responsible for the implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS)?

The project is being managed from the Office of the Prime Minister with representatives from across various Ministries and Agencies. A new agency; a statutory body called the National Identification and Registration Agency (NIRA) is being formed to manage the system and related functions.

3.2 What is the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)?

The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) is the proposed Government of Jamaica Entity that will be established by the NIRA Act of 2017, to create, own, operate, maintain and manage the Civil and Identity Databases, register citizens and legal residents, assign a National Identification Number (NIN) and issue National Identification Cards (NIC) to those registered individuals, as well as to provide identity verification services to the public and private sectors. NIRA will also carry out the duties and responsibilities currently being undertaken by the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).

3.3 What are the functions of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)?

The NIRA is mandated to:
1. Establish and maintain a National Identification and Registration Database
2. Record all vital civil events such as births, deaths, and marriages
3. Establish, operate, and manage National Civil and Identification Systems including:

a. Establish and maintain permanent, fixed, and mobile enrolment centres for the capture and update of biographic, demographic and biometric information

b. Issue unique National Identification Numbers (NIN) to registered persons

c. Issue a general multipurpose card, known as a National Identification Card (NIC), to every registered person

d. Provide an Identity Verification Services platform for the private and public sectors

e. Collaborate with private and public institutions as prescribed by law to deliver on national identification services

3.4 Who has oversight of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)? Who are the members of the Board?

The board of NIRA is responsible for overseeing the general administration of the Authority. All board members will undergo security and background checks. The membership of the board will be added as soon as the National Identification and Registration law is enacted.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

4.1 What data will the National Identification System (NIDS) collect and store?

There are three categories of data that the National Identification System (NIDS) will keep:

a. Biographic – e.g. name, address, email, phone number
b. Biometric (which uniquely identifies a person) – e.g. photograph and fingerprint
c. Demographic – e.g. workplace, profession, family status, education level and religion

If a person is unable to provide fingerprints, secondary biometric data may be captured such as an iris (eye) scan. Persons with disabilities that are unable to give biometric information will be verified instead by a special process to be determined by the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) and the National Identification and Registration Authority(NIRA).

NIDS does not collect any data not already being collected by other Government agencies for other purposes. DNA, political affiliation and sexual orientation WILL NOT be collected and these items are specifically omitted from the data collection and storage process.

4.2 Are all citizens and legal residents required to register for a National Identification Number (NIN)?

Yes. The NIN is required for all Jamaican citizens and legal residents.

4.3 What happens if I do not want to enrol?

Obtaining a National Identification Number (NIN) verifies your identity with all public sectors and private companies. The NIN (and its corresponding NIC) will be the only identification required for most transactions. Without your NIN and NIC you will not be able to do business with any government entity. It prevents instant verification of your identity, which is particularly important in matters of civil liberty and security situations.

4.4 Will Jamaicans living outside the country have a National Identification Number (NIN)?

Yes. Jamaicans living outside of Jamaica and do business in Jamaica can enrol like any other Jamaican at an enrolment site. At this time, the project does not plan to establish enrolment sites outside of Jamaica. Check back for a list of enrolment sites. The list will be updated as the project implementation progresses.

4.5 Can a National Identification Number (NIN) or National Identification Card (NIC) be blocked or revoked?

Yes. If a NIN is falsely obtained and if the NIC is lost or has an error, is misused or discovered to have been improperly issued, it may be blocked and/or revoked. The NIC remains the property of the Government of Jamaica.

4.6 What is the validity period of the National Identification Number (NIN)?

The NIN never expires.  It is valid for life and is retained in death.

4.7 What happens when somebody dies? Is the NIN removed from the system?

No. A notation is made on the database that the person is ‘deceased’ but all information is maintained.

4.8 Do all individuals receive a National Identification Card (NIC) after receiving their National Identification Number (NIN)?

Yes, everyone will receive a National Identity Card (NIC) upon successful enrolment.

4.9 How long is this National Identity Number (NIN)?

The NIN will be a randomly generated 9-digit number.

4.10 Why is it necessary for a child to have a National Identification Number (NIN)?

The NIN is necessary so that children can be identified and have access to health services and, social programs.  A child having a NIN will assist all of us to protect our children against kidnapping and child trafficking, which is on the rise worldwide.  Remember, the NIN will be the same number from birth, throughout adulthood, to death.

4.11 Will I be denied emergency medical services if I do not have a National Identification Number (NIN) or National Identification Card (NIC)?

In cases of life-threatening events, individuals will not be denied services in the absence of a NIN or NIC. However, access to general medical services in public clinics and hospitals will require a NIN.

 

 

HOW DO I ENROL TO NIDS?

5.1 How do I enrol for the National Identification Number (NIN) and National Identification Card (NIC)?

Enrolment is an easy four-step process, which includes registration (online or inline), document verification, data capture and NIN and NIC collection.

Step 1: Persons registering for a NIN/NIC may do so INLINE or ONLINE.

Inline registration is facilitated at the closest NIRA enrolment location. Application Forms and Address Supplementary Forms are available at enrolment sites and at post offices/postal Agencies Island wide. The forms must be completed ahead of making an appointment at an enrolment centre.

It is best to make an appointment for enrolment to avoid experiencing delays.

However, persons with access to a computer and the Internet may pre -enrol online. Upon the completion of pre-enrolment and receiving an appointment, the applicant is required to visit the nearest NIRA enrolment site to complete the verification process.

DOCUMENT REQUIRED FOR ENROLMENT

Step 2: Registrants are asked to present the following documents to facilitate the verification process:

a. Computer Generated Birth Certificate (the old Black and White version cannot be used)

b. Computer Generated Marriage Certificate (Applicable for a married woman who wishes to use her husband’s name)

c. Official document evidencing a divorce or change of name (deed poll) where applicable

d. Proof of Address including an Address Supplementary Form and any of the following: Rent Receipt, Telephone Bill, Electricity Bill, Water Bill, or any other official correspondence confirming your address
e. A government issued ID (Driver’s License, Electoral Card, Passport) or a certified letter from an approved official including Justice of the Peace, Attorney-at-law, Medical Doctor, High Court Judge, Army Officer (Major or above), Police Officer (Gazetted Ranks), Principal, Resident Magistrate, Consular Officer, or Clerk of Courts

f. Citizenship letter from PICA (for citizens born outside of Jamaica-Naturalised citizens)

g. A completed NIRA Application Form (only for persons registering inline)

Step 3: Upon completion of the verification of documents an enrolment officer will commence the data collection process:

a. Capture the applicant’s fingerprint (another biometric will be taken if applicant is unable to provide a fingerprint, e.g. iris scan)

b. Live capture the applicant photograph

c. Issue a collection slip (receipt) physically or via email

Step 4: You are required to return to the same enrolment centre to collect your card upon receiving a notification from NIRA.

Persons with disabilities may appoint a registered individual to collect the card.

For questions about the required documentation and forms, contact customercare@nira.gov.jm.

5.2 Why do I need to submit the same documentation I would have used for my Voter’s ID and other government issued IDs?

The NIDS is a brand-new system, specifically designed to capture clean, verified biographic data, which is explicitly linked to your biometric data. This process will ensure that all data captured in NIDS is clean and true to the registered individual.

5.3 Do I have to include my signature on the National Identification Card (NIC)?

Yes, a signature is required.  Persons with disabilities if unable to give a manual signature will be exempted from this requirement.

5.4 Will I be notified of any mis-matches during the verification process?

Yes, you will be notified.

5.5 Where do I register?

Registration is completed at one of the Enrolment Centres. To begin with, we will have 18 enrolment sites in 14 parishes and an additional 25 enrolment sites will be opened for the National Roll Out of the National Identification System. Please check back for the updated list of enrolment centres. The list will be continuously updated during the roll out.

5.6 How will I prove my address?

On registration, you will be asked to complete an Address Supplementary Form. In addition, you will be asked to bring with you one of the following as proof of address: Rent Receipt, Telephone Bill, Electricity Bill, Water Bill, or any other official correspondence confirming your address.

5.7 How will I get my National Identification Number (NIN)?

Upon successful enrolment, you will be issued a National Identification Number (NIN) and be advised when the National Identification Card (NIC) may be collected.

5.8 When, where and how will I pick up my National Identification Card (NIC)?

You will be notified when your NIC is ready and pick-up will be at the same centre you were enrolled.

5.9 What if I am unable to visit a centre due to disability or infirmary?

Mobile enrolment units will be deployed to facilitate persons who are disabled or infirmed.

5.10 Do I have to renew my National Identity Card (NIC)?

Yes. The NIC must be renewed periodically.

5.11 How often do I need to renew my NIC?

a. Persons over 56 years of age – will renew every 15 years
b. Persons between 18 and 55 years will renew every 10 years
c. Children and Teenagers between 0 – 17 years will renew every 5 years

5.12 What should I do if some information on my National Identification Card (NIC) is incorrect?

Immediately report the error to the nearest enrolment site.

5.13 When do I need to renew my National Identification Card (NIC)?

You are required to renew your NIC when it expires. Also, when/if information on the card has changed (names, address, etc.) or if the card is damaged. An expired card is no longer valid for identity verification.

5.14 What documents are required for renewal?

The following documents are required for renewal:
• Proof of Address including an Address Supplementary Form and any of the following: Rent Receipt, Telephone Bill, Electricity Bill, Water Bill, or any other official correspondence confirming your address
• Proof of your identity (expired NIC or onsite biometric verification if your card was stolen or lost)
• Depending on the time elapsed since your last renewal, a new photograph may be captured
• In cases of lost card, the applicant must show proof that the incident was reported to NIRA.

5.15 Will my National Identification Number (NIN) be used by other Government Agencies?

The NIN will be used to, independently link you to all Government Agencies. Providing Jamaican Citizens and legal residents with a single source of trusted identity, to verify who you are. The demographic and biometric data associated with the National Identification Number (NIN), will not be shared.

The NIDS is completely independent of the electoral system. Having a NIN does not facilitate voting or rights associated with the right to vote. Similarly, the NIDS does not have access to the Electoral List.

5.16 Can I be denied a National Identification Number (NIN)?

No citizen may be denied a NIN. All Jamaican citizens and legal residents have a right to a unique identity as facilitated by the National Identification System (NIDS).

5.17 Do I need to carry my National Identity Card (NIC) at all time?

It is recommended that you carry your National Identity Card (NIC) with you whenever you conduct business with the Government. Your National Identity Card (NIC) is used to irrefutably assert your identity.

5.18 I do not have my National Identification Card (NIC) with me; can I identify myself?

Yes. You can assert your identity with or without a physical ID card. Your NIN, NIC and/or Biometrics can be used to irrefutably assert your identity.

5.19 Will the National Identification Number (NIN) change with a re-issuance (replacement or renewal) of an NIC?

No. The National Identification Number (NIN) is unique to an individual and does not change once assigned; it remains with you for life.

5.20 Under what circumstances am I required to assert my identity?

You may be required to assert your identity for various transactions including to access:
• Government of Jamaica services including social services
• Financial services including remittances
• Healthcare services in the private sector

5.21 Can I display my National Identification Number (NIN) along with my contact details on cards or social media?

Sharing your National Identification Number (NIN) or displaying your National Identity Card (NIC) on social media is strongly discouraged.

5.22 Do I need to re-enrol if I forget my National Identification Number (NIN) or if my National Identification Card (NIC) is lost or stolen

No. Enrolment is done only once for life per individual, so you do not need to re-enrol. Simply visit an enrolment centre to have your identity verified before the process of retrieving your NIN can commence (in some cases you may be charged a fee for replacement cards where the card was lost, damaged or stolen). You can also contact NIRA’s Customer Care at customercare@nira.gov.jm for more information.

5.23 Can my National Identification Card (NIC) be used for travel?

No. Only your Passport is accepted as a valid travel document.

HOW SECURE IS MY DATA?

6.1 With all the information in one place, will the risk of identity theft be higher?

No. The system is designed to give individuals greater control of their identity data.  Removing the likelihood of multiple identifications, thus making it less susceptible to identify fraud.  Further, the biographical and biometric data are not stored in one database.

6.2 What security/encryption technology secures and safeguards data on the National Identification Card (NIC)?

The NIDS has been designed using the most advanced, multi-level security technology to mitigate unauthorised access. Appropriate security measures have also been considered in the design of the card in conformity with global standards. These standards are as follows but not limited to and may be updated at the time of implementation to protect the registered individual:

1. Unique Chip Design

2. ISO Norms Compliance: ISO 7816-1, ISO 7816-2, ISO 7816-3, ISO 7816-10 and ISO 7816-12

3. Applets including: e-ID, e-PKI, M-o-C (Match on Card), ICAO (Travel)

Additionally, biographic and biometric data are not stored in the same database.

6.3 Will I be required to surrender my DNA?

No. The National Identification System (NIDS) only collects biographical, biometric, and demographic information.  Your DNA will not be collected.

6.4 Can Agencies download my data from NIDS and store on their local devices?

No.  The system is designed to verify the information request.  Users will only be provided with a response to their specific question.

6.5 Will the Police and other agencies have access to my fingerprint and other biometric information?

No, the Police and other Government Agencies will not have access to your fingerprints.  When your fingerprint is swiped, and verified against the National Identity Database, your fingerprint information will not be retained by the agency.  Similarly, the Police and other Government agencies do not have access to fingerprints in the Electoral Database.

6.6 Can external agencies (foreign or domestic) browse the National Identification System (NIDS) Database?

No.  The system is limited to identification verification only.

6.7 What should I do if my National Identity Number (NIN) and/or National Identity Card (NIC) are used fraudulently?

Immediately report the crime to the relevant authorities.  It is a criminal offence for a person to use the NIN or NIC fraudulently.

6.8 What happens if there is a system failure?

A list of standard operating procedures to handle an unlikely system failure will be made available.

6.9 If the police stop me and there is a mismatch with my data, will I be arrested?

The National Identification System (NIDS) has multiple built in fail-safes to eliminate the possibility of incorrect information.  If however, there is a mismatch, the Police will carry out further investigations.  More information on these procedures will follow.

6.10 Can I access my own data for accuracy verification or backup?

Yes. You may request a copy of your profile data. Registered participants have a right to know the information stored under their profile and access a list of entities that have sought to verify your data.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

7.1 Is there a cost of obtaining a National Identification Number (NIN) and National Identification Card (NIC)?

The registration and first issuance of the National Identification Card (NIC) is FREE. Renewal of expired cards is also FREE.  However, there is a cost for any subsequent card replacement e.g. in the event of a loss or damage.

7.2 What is the cost of replacing an expired National Identification Card (NIC)?

The renewal of an expired card is FREE.

7.3 Is there a cost to replace the National Identification Card (NIC) if it is lost or stolen?

Yes, there is a fee for replacement cards.

7.4 How expensive is the National Identification System (NIDS) initiative? How much is it costing taxpayers?

The improvement and upgrading of Information and Computer Technology (ICT) systems across multiple Government agencies to facilitate the introduction of NIDS as a prerequisite to e-Governance, greater efficiency, reduced costs, increased security and less waste will be funded by a low-interest US$68M loan from the Inter-Development Bank.

7.5 Where can I get more information on the National Identification System (NIDS)?

Email customercare@nira.gov.jm for more information. A full list of enrolment centres will be made available via nira.gov.jm prior commencement of enrolment

NIDS IMPLEMENTATION ROLLOUT PROCESS

8.1 How is the National Identification System (NIDS) being implemented?

The National Identification System is being implemented under three (3) broad components:

 Component I – Implementation of the Legal and Institutional Framework for the NIDS:  Put in place:

A Legal and Institutional Framework for the NIDS; including the transformation of RGD and the establishment of the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA):

  1. The National Identification and Registration Bill will be enacted
  2. The National Identification and Registration Authority will be established
  3. The framework and regulations of the NIDS will be put in place
  4. The Civil and Identification Database will be established and maintained
  5. Citizens will be issued National Identification Numbers (NIN) and Cards

 

Component II – Implementation of a unique National Identification Number and National Identification Management System:  Put in place:

  1. Government wide network will be implemented, allowing for the inter-connectivity between MDAs and secure data sharing between the Government of Jamaica and private sector entities
  1. A central civil and identification management/hosting site will be established
  2. Full services enrolment sites will be established, including hardware and software for capturing biometric, demographic and biographic data
  1. A central identification card production site and distribution centre will be established

 

   Component III – Streamlined identity verification for the public and private

   sector:  Put in place the resources to:

  1. Facilitate the adoption of identity verification services by Ministries, Agencies and Departments of the Government of Jamaica
  1. Train public sector employees to deliver and utilize identity verification services
  1. Implement NIDS enabled service delivery enhancement projects in selected MDAs

 

The immediate next tasks are to engage all stakeholders, civic groups, private sector, community organisations, schools and universities about this new system; provide regular updates to key stakeholders, training our team to deliver exceptional customer service and begin a robust public education campaign.

 

8.2 What can the public expect related to the implementation?

National Identification System (NIDS) Team Members are focused on delivering on our commitments to members of the public. We aim to minimize business disruption to our customers and stakeholders, and all provide the online and offline forums for all Jamaicans to participate in the implementation and use of the system for identity verification.

8.3 What message is being communicated to customers and other stakeholders?

The implementation of this National Identification System (NIDS) is good for all Jamaicans, both locally and overseas. With this system, come numerous benefits, including the ability to conduct business transactions more easily and getting rid of multiple identification methods making life easier and better for members of the public.  The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) will be able to improve our service/offerings to individuals through the delivery of better technology solutions.

8.4 How will this affect Government employees?

The implementation process will be over a phased period.

 

Phase 1 sees the choosing of Ambassadors, called Change Agents who will be spokespersons for the programme and will assist with the awareness and uptake of National Identification System (NIDS), both internally and externally. There will also be a selection exercise for the training of Customer Service Agents, who will be handling the different life cycles of the programme. This is the pre-implementation period and is expected to last at least six months before implementation.

 Phase 2 – includes the enrolment and registration of all Government employees. Generous feedback from employees regarding the registration, customer service and enrolment process helps to improve the implementation.

8.5 When does the National Identification System (NIDS) take effect?

The development of the National Identification System (NIDS) is expected to be begin in 2018. Registration of Government of Jamaica (GOJ) employees begins in January 2019. The national rollout begins September 2019.

8.6 Have any other countries successfully implemented a similar National Identification System (NIDS)?

Yes, several countries have successfully implemented a national identification programme.

Including Estonia, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Austria, Belgium, Denmark  and more.

In the United Kingdom national identification is facilitated indirectly via UK Verify.  While in the United States identification documents are done under the legal framework in the Real ID Act.

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