Jamaica has unveiled the design of its first National Identification (ID) card, which is electronic and will be offered to citizens at no cost.

The modern ID document, a key deliverable of Jamaica’s National Identification System (NIDS) project, was revealed last week by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, and Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Floyd Green.

ID card blends iconic Jamaican images and modern security features

The unique design of the polycarbonate card incorporates national symbols such as a coat of arms, the doctor bird, national flag, and the Ackee. The card’s contactless chip and 26 security features make it a highly secure document.

Qualified applicants may opt for their ID card to include a special symbol to identify Justices of the Peace and persons with disabilities, thus eliminating the need to print separate cards. This is more convenient for the card holder and more cost-effective for the government.

Streamlining citizens’ access to services

Minister Green noted that Jamaica’s National Identification System is electronic, so it will allow the government to move more services online where citizens can use the platform of the national identification system to access various services.

Eventually, the national ID card will give citizens access to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and to be used as the holder’s Tax Registration Number (TRN). Ultimately, officials say, the national ID card will be used as proof that the holder is a licensed driver in Jamaica.

Timeline of testing and island-wide rollout

The timeline for testing and issuance of the new ID cards is as follows:

  • January 2022: Prime Minister Andrew Holness toured NIDS card production site.
  • February 2022: The ID card design and proof print were approved by government officials.
  • May 16, 2022: The first batch of test cards were received by the Government of Jamaica.
  • Next: A pilot programme will be conducted, with ID cards issued under the National Identification System (NIDS) in select areas.
  • Finally: Once the pilot phase has concluded, island-wide issuance of ID cards to citizens will begin. This is estimated to occur by the end of 2022.

Speaking during a tour of the NIDS card production site on 4 January 2022, Prime Holness said the National Identification System (NIDS) will be fully operational this year. “I’m hoping that by the end of the year, we will have a significant portion, if not the majority of the population, properly identified in the National Identification System,” he stated.



CNW News

Office of the Prime Minister, Jamaica

National Identification System (NIDS)

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