Tujoromajo Kasuto

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (MHAISS), has expressed with great concern the influx of members of the public who have been flooding their offices over the last weeks to exchange their current IDs with the new one after its launch last Tuesday.

MHAISS Executive Director (ED), Etienne Maritz, in a statement issued today reiterates that there is no need for anyone to exchange her/his ID with the new-look ID, as the current ID remains valid. Only newly issued IDs, including duplicates, will be in the new format.

First-time applications for IDs will remain free of charge. Current IDs will continue to be in use as the migration to the new ID will be gradual. Those applying for duplicates will be issued with the new ID from today. However, duplicates will be charged to encourage citizens to take care of their IDs.

Fees for duplicates are as follows: N$ 150.00 for the first duplicate, N$ 300.00 for second duplicate, N$ 450.00 third duplicate, N$ 600.00 for fourth duplicate and fifth duplicate is N$ 750.00.

The Ministry further appeals to Namibian citizens who have not yet collected their IDs to approach the regional offices to collect their IDs, as it has many uncollected IDs in its offices.

New improvements on the new ID includes the replacement of the fingerprint system on the old ID by a Quick Response Code (“QRC”), and the barcode will be replaced by a machine readable zone (“MRZ”).

Home Affairs Minister, Albert Kawana, had stated that it is more secure as the QRC and MRZ are readable by a machine and are not easy to forge. Likewise, with these new features, they can thus engage neighboring countries to consider using these ID cards as travel documents.

A number of African countries have already adopted the new look ID, such as Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mauritius, Zambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Niger, and Sierra Leon.