Blog: Uganda: (The National Identity Card) When and where Ugandans in the Diaspora register for their National ID cards

Uganda: (The National Identity Card) When and where Ugandans in the Diaspora register for their National ID cards

When and where do I get registered if I live outside Uganda? Can I register online or at our nearest Embassy?

Any citizen of Uganda who for any reason is not within Uganda during the period when the Minister for Internal Affairs first declares the registration process open, shall appear in person to be registered as a citizen of Uganda within thirty days after his or her return to Uganda at the nearest Sub County where s/he can easily be verified. i.e The registration during Mass Enrolment shall be done at any nearest registration centre in your place of origin of residence in Uganda. While Government of Uganda is exploring the possibility of online Registration, it is not yet possible to carry out that exercise at the Embassies today.


Government of Uganda is implementing the National Identity Card project under the coordination of Ministry of Internal Affairs.

However, there are key agencies that are implementing this project as a Multi-sectoral thrust. These agencies are:

  • Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration-DCIC (that ordinarily registers people for purposes of Passport Issuance)
  • Uganda Bureau of Statistics-UBOS (registers people for Census Purposes)
  • The Electoral Commission-EC (Registers people for Electoral Purposes)
  • Uganda Registration Services Bureau-URSB (for Birth, Death and Marriage)
  • National Information Technology Uganda-NITA-U for Technological support.

Previously, these agencies sought for funding from Government Coffers to carry out different registration of individuals. Government will now create one central data registry where all data can be accessed for the different individual, departmental or Ministry use.

However, there are other Ministries and Departments that are actively engaged in the running of the ID Project. These include Ministry of Justice for legal support, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance etc.

There are two phases under the first Registration-Phase 1and II (Attached for ease of reference)

What is a National Identity Card and What will the identity card look like?

  1. It is a National document that is issued to all and only citizens of Uganda of or above the age of 18 years. However, today, we are registering Ugandan Citizens who are 16 years and above in the ongoing phase-Mass Enrolment which is taking place at one’s parish (Place of Birth or Residence)
  2.  The Card is a biometrically enhanced, machine readable card with digitally embedded information about the holder. One’s information can ONLY be accessed by law.
  3. The holder is required or encouraged to carry it as a means of confirming their identity where the need arises.

The identification system uses biometric techniques such as the fingerprint and facial recognition to confirm the identity of the card holder

What are the major benefits of the National Identity Card?

The National Identity Card will;

a)   Facilitate the delivery of national development based on reliable & verifiable data:

  1. Enable Government plan properly and provide easy access to good social facilities & services
  2. Benefiting from the National Health System and school capitation grants based on verifiable identities and data at the local level
  3. Facilitate more transparent and trustworthy business transactions
  4. Help keep crime low in our communities with quick and reliable identification of criminals
  5. Guarantee the unique association “one-document/ one-identity” in the delivery of services, e.g., driver licencing, passports, voting process, business transactions, etc.
  6. Help secure properties, title deeds & assets
  7. b)  Facilitate Regional and International integration based on verifiable and reliable data:
  8. Support for regional integration (protocols for movement across the region)
  9.  Conform to International obligations: E-Passport


The processes are designed to eliminate false identity attempts by individuals, whether at the bank, university admissions etc.

The key services targeted to be integrated following the implementation of the National ID:

a)  Public Safety & Security Services

b)  Passport Processing & Issuance

c)   Immigration Services – legal residence & border crossing/ checks

d)  Uganda Revenue Authority – effective taxation targeting

e)   NSSF – social security benefits delivery

f)    National Health Service & Hospitals Delivery – NHIS & patient management

b)   Electoral Process Enhancement – voter list generation & voter verification (Smart elections) – the National Identity Card is also a pre-requisite for National Elections as a voting requirement

g)   Financial Institutions/Banks – secure and undoubtable verification system in order to access financial services

h)  Births & Deaths Registration – improved child security

i)    Driver & Vehicle Licensing – validation & de-duplication

j)    Hospitality & Tourism Services

k)  Schools & Universities Examinations / Admissions System

l)    Public Service – employee verification

m)                Employment Generation – youth employment schemes

By 2017, no Ugandan citizen can access a school for his/her child without proof of Identification using the National Identity Card


Can I ask someone to enroll on my behalf?

Every Ugandan citizen has the right to have National Identity card and registration is not delegatable. Mass registration started across the country and every citizen is required to register in their respective place of birth or residence to enable the process of information gathering.

The major safeguards when you enroll for an identity card will be your finger prints, facial features, etc. No one can be able to capture your finger prints in your absence

How will I use my identity card?

There are many situations where you need to prove that you are who you say you are. The identity card will allow you to do this in number of ways;

a)   Proving Age

b)   Traveling abroad within the East African Region (as per the signed protocols allowing for the use of the National Identity Card across the region)

c)   On day to day basis for identification to law enforcement officers.

d)   Accessing financial services e.g. Opening a bank account.

e)   Processing land transactions

f)     Confirming right to work.

g)   Accessing public services for which citizens are entitled.

h)  Identifying you as a citizen for purposes of voting.


How does the Identification Card look like?.

Many of the design features on your identity card will comply with international standards so that it can be used as a travel document with in the East African Region. The card shall have a card number printed on the card and a unique national identification number.

The card will contain different security features and your personal information including names, signature, photo, and fingerprints among others as illustrated.


Why should I apply to be registered and issued with a NIN and card

The law requires that all Ugandans must be registered and issued with National Identification Numbers and those who are 18/or above age (with an exception of issuing it to people 16 or above) shall be issued with national identity cards.


Why you should apply to be registered:-


i.        To be able to prove your Uganda citizenship.

ii.      To be able to assert your rights and status as a citizen.

iii.      To prove your identity in the quest for national services.

iv.      To be eligible for employment both in the private and public sectors in Uganda.

v.      To be used to vote during national elections.

vi.      It’s mandatory under the law for all citizens to apply to be registered

What documents do I need to go with to apply and be registered for a National Identification Number and National Identity Card?

  • Ugandan citizens should turn up for registration with any supporting documents. These may include Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Academic certificates, Passport, LC letter etc. Birth certificates, Religious certificates, School leaving certificates, Child health card, Notification of birth, Letter of administrative officer, Parish/Sub county chief, Statutory Declarations, LC letter, Any other as the case maybe

However, we are aware that some citizens may not have these supporting documents. Citizens will not be turned away in such cases. The Parish Citizenship Verification Committee at the Parish level will be able to verify if you say you are who you claim to be-a citizen of Uganda.


It should be understood that for one to be issued with a National Identification Number and National Identity Card, they must be verified and approved as citizens of Uganda. Uganda citizenship is a question of law and fact. Therefore different types of citizenship may call for different documents to prove different facts as maybe required under Uganda citizenship laws.


Category Documents required/Proof
Birth/descent Indigenous community/tribe (third schedule of Constitution). The residence or origin or place of birth must be within the boundaries of Uganda as at 1st February 1926.Documents: birth certificate, L.C letter…
Registration Certificate of Citizenship issued   by the National Citizenship and Immigration Board
Naturalization Certificate of Citizenship issued by the National Citizenship and Immigration Board
Presumption/foundling/Adopted Certificate of Citizenship Issued by the National Citizenship and Immigration Board


Other documents may be as proof in support of age, names (identity) and place of birth. These may include the following and any of these may be provided.


How can we register?

Citizens are required to go to their nearest Parish where they be easily identified.

The Process is absolutely free.

The Registration form and the Extra Spouse forms are free-NOT FOR SALE and can be easily accessed at the Parish Enrolment Centres.

Enrolment officers must help all citizens without asking for money

Documents such as Marriage Certificates and/or Baptism Cards are not compulsory at Registration Centres


How much does it cost me to get a National Identity Card

  1. The National Identity Card shall be issued free of charge for the first time but a fee shall be levied upon replacement.
  2. At renewal; 10 years after Card Issuance, change of particulars, loss or damage of the National Identity Card, you may be required to pay a fee.

What information do I need to know or prepare before I go to the Registration Centre to be registered as a citizen of Uganda

All applicants are advised to prepare the following information that is required to fill the Enrolment Form, (with all necessary supporting documents If readily available);

  1. Full name of the applicant
  2. Residential address
  3. Date of birth
  4. Place of birth
  5. Indigenous community/tribe to which the applicant belongs
  6. Place of origin
  7. Occupation/profession
  8. Spouse’s name
  9. Parents name, nationality, tribe and clan.


Details of the Enrolment forms will be publicized widely so that everyone prepares the information that they need to fill on the Enrolment form


If a citizen does not have these documents, s/he can still go ahead and register without them. The Citizenship Verification Committee will help to verify further who you say you are.


What then is the citizen verification Committee?

The Parish Citizenship Verification Committee (PCVC)is the committee that has been constituted at every Parish to verify which citizen is registering in that particular Parish.

The Committee is composed of the LC Chairperson of that particular Parish, a PISO, a Parish Chief and an Elder. For purposes of the National Identity Card Registration, these committees are playing a supporting role on citizen verification.


Are the Parish Citizenship Committees the concluding factor in the verification process?

No. Parish Citizenship Verification Committees are not conclusive of citizenship verification. They can not stop a citizen from registering. After one has registered and signed on his/her form for final submission, the Parish Chief signs on the enrolment form copy that is retained by the project. His/her comment will remain unknown to you.

In the event that your citizenship status is doubted, you will be required at a later time, to prove beyond doubt that you are indeed a citizen of Uganda.

Similar other Citizenship Committees have been established at the Sub County and District level.

There is also a National Appeals Committee Constituted by the Minister of Internal Affairs who is the overall coordinator of the National ID Exercise.


What do I have to show that I have been registered before I receive the National Identity Card?

After enrolment, you will retain two copies of the Enrolment form. You will present a copy of the Enrolment Form at the Enrolment Centre at the time when the dates for Cards Issuance will be announced.


What does it mean for me after I am registered as a citizen of Uganda?

Upon registration as a citizen of Uganda, you become a legally recognized citizen of Uganda and certain duties, responsibilities and rights accrue;

  1. You will be able to assert yourself as a citizen of Uganda;
  2. Perform the duties as required of a citizen;
  3. You will easily access Government services such as health care, free education such as U.P.E. U.S.E, government sponsorship at tertiary institution level, employment within the public civil service and private sector.
  4. You will exercise your right to vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections with more authority.
  5. Right to a Ugandan passport will be easy to demonstrate.


If I turn 18 years, how do I go about applying for a National Identity card?

Where a person turns 18 years, he/she should within ninety (90) days of turning eighteen years apply for a National Identity card.


  • He/she should state his/her NIN issued to them after their application for registration as a citizen has been approved.
  • Such a person shall appear in person before a registration officer and shall have all bio-data captured especially all biometrics and face image.
  • After satisfying the above mentioned requirements, such a person shall be issued with a National Identity Card.


What do I do if I need to change particulars on my Identity card?

This service will be available to persons who have made changes in their civil status. These changes include; change of name after marriage, change of location, change of name, change of sex and others. There will be a period of Information update


This service will be accessed at the sub-counties, and you will be required to come with a document or a combination of any of the following documents depending on the type of change:-


  • Marriage certificate
  • Deed poll
  • School leaving certificates
  • Statutory Declarations
  • Divorce certificates
  • Payment receipt
  • Any other as the case maybe.

Why is it important that a person goes to his/her place of origin or home district for registration?

Where it is possible, all persons are encouraged to apply to be registered within the parish/sub-county of their places of origin or residence. This is particularly important because it is most likely the place where you and your parents/ancestors are best known for the purpose of identification and citizenship verification.


For persons originating or with ethnic connections with border communities, you are encouraged to as much as possible go back to these places for registration.


What happens after the Mass Enrolment Exercise?

Machinery and technical support will be shifted to SubCounties after August 14, 2014. Data processing for Mass Enrolment, card printing and continuous Enrolment at Sub counties will be the core activities. Cards will be issued at Sub counties starting in September 2014. The next Mass Card issuance will take place in March 2015.

Non citizens and citizens who are 0+ will be enrolled during Phase II that starts in July 2016. However, Non citizens will be issued with Alien Cards, as opposed to National Identity Cards.

People who qualify to acquire Ugandan Citizenship and those willing to apply for Ugandan Citizenship MUST contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as is required by law.


There are other key activities that will be implemented by Government; like the National Population Census in August.

Key to note is that a National Identification Register should be ready by Feb 27, 2015 and in that period, all registration must stop-as is required by law.


How will the exercise ensure timely deliveries at lower levels?

Every District has a District Coordination Committee which is comprised of the RDC, the Chief Administrative Officer, The District Police and Prison Commanders, District Information Officer, District Intelligence Security Officer, District Education Officer, District Health Officer, District I.T officers, District Registrars. They have a duty and responsibility to monitor the regular implementation of the Project.

However, there are other such committees at the Subcounty and Parish level that ensure the successful implementation of the project.

Data is transferred to the centre on a weekly basis, but reporting mechanisms are done to and from the centre on a daily.


For more questions, please contact us on

Tel: 0312 518565, 0772255056, 0772255020


Twitter: @MIA_UG and on facebook: National ID

John Doe
John Doe

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