ID Card Deadline Extended to June 28, 2024

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has issued an important reminder to the public that the deadline to obtain National, ECOWAS and Non-National ID Cards has been extended to June 28, 2024.  According to NCRA the extension aims to provide additional time for all residents to secure their ID cards in accordance with the Cabinet Directive Ratified by Parliament in March 2022.

NCRA maintains that obtaining the ID cards is not just a bureaucratic requirement but it is a critical step for accessing a wide range of essential services. It added that each card must be linked to the National Identification Number (NIN), a unique identifier that ensures streamlined service provision and personal identification. The institution informed that the NIN is a key player for various activities including financial transactions, vehicle registration, recruitment processes, enrollment in the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), and SIM card registration.

According to NCRA, the initial deadline for obtaining the ID cards was set earlier, but recognizing the challenges faced by many in meeting this requirement, they extended the deadline to June 28, 2024. It furthered that the extension is a significant let off, aimed at ensuring comprehensive compliance and giving everyone ample opportunity to obtain their necessary documentation.

The institution further stated that starting July 1, 2024, it will, in collaboration with the Security Sector,  enforce strict compliance measures adding that the enforcement will ensure that all residents, both citizens and foreigners, have consistent and accurate personal information on record.

It asserted that the mandatory requirement for National and Non-National ID Cards reflects their critical role in the country’s administrative and security framework. NCRA affirmed that although the ECOWAS ID Card remains optional, it is strongly encouraged for those who frequently travel within the Economic Community of West African States region.

In terms of impact on daily life and services the ID cards and the linked NIN will serve as foundational documents for a variety of everyday transactions and services.

The  impacts include: Banks and other financial institutions require a valid ID card linked to the NIN to process transactions. This measure is part of broader efforts to enhance financial security and prevent fraud.

With regards to vehicle registration it a crucial process for ownership and legal compliance, necessitating a valid ID. Linking this to the NIN ensures accurate records and reduces the potential for vehicle-related fraud or discrepancies.

Employers are increasingly requiring valid ID cards linked to the NIN during the hiring process. This practice ensures the legitimacy of the workforce and compliance with national employment regulations.

For those enrolling in the National Social Security and Insurance Trust, a valid ID linked to the NIN is mandatory. This linkage facilitates efficient management of social security benefits and records.

Mobile network providers require a valid ID card for SIM card registration. This process is crucial for maintaining accurate records of mobile users and enhancing national security.

To facilitate the process of obtaining these ID cards, the NCRA has established multiple offices and designated centers across the country. These centers are located at District Headquarters Offices and other convenient locations. Operating hours are from 08:30 AM to 05:30 PM, Monday to Friday, ensuring that the public has ample time to visit and complete the necessary procedures.

Citizens and Non-Citizens must sure to complete this process before the June 28, 2024 deadline as the enforcement phase, beginning on July 1, 2024, will see the NCRA and the Security Sector actively ensuring that all residents comply with the ID card and NIN requirements. This phase is critical for maintaining the integrity of the national identification system and ensuring that all personal information is accurate and up-to-date.

The extension of the deadline to June 28, 2024, for obtaining National, ECOWAS and Non-National ID Cards is a significant opportunity for all residents of Sierra Leone to comply with national identification requirements. The NCRA urges everyone to take this extension seriously and ensure that their ID cards are obtained and linked to their National Identification Number.


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