On Display: Jamaica’s National ID Card

Jamaica’s National ID Card Unveiled (Photo JIS)
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Jamaica has unveiled the design of its first National Identification (ID) card, which is engraved with national symbols and has 26 security features.

The uniquely designed card, which is a key deliverable of the National Identification System (NIDS) project intended to provide a safe, convenient, and reliable means of proving an individual’s identity, was revealed by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, and Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Floyd Green.

This was done as Minister Green made his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday May 24.

The ID card design and proof print were approved in February 2022, and the first batch of test cards were received by the Government of Jamaica on May 16, 2022.

“Understanding the gravity of the task before us, the Office of the Prime Minister established a committee consisting of professionals from the Government of Jamaica, the private sector and international e-ID security experts to design Jamaica’s first National ID card,” Green stated.

Mr. Green informed that national symbols – Coat of Arms, the Doctor Bird, National Flag, and the Ackee – are featured on the card, which will be offered to persons free of cost.

Importantly, he pointed out that a high-priority approach was taken in ensuring the security of the card, which possesses twice the number of security features of other cards, which is normally about 12.

“The National ID card is a polycarbonate card with the identity data engraved, which means that no one can physically alter the card without it being noticeable. There will be a period of sensitization to familiarize persons with the visible level-one security features,” he said.

Mr. Green informed that another important feature of the card is an optional symbol to identify Justices of the Peace and persons with disabilities eliminating the need to print separate cards hence saving millions of dollars

Minister Green, in highlighting the benefits of the card, said that it provides for ease of use and the absence of traditional written proof and eyewitnesses “to say you are who you say you are”.

“As we amend our legislation to reflect our step into the digital world, it should be noted that where we are going is to remove the need for multiple unique identifiers and moving to a space where your one National ID can be used, over time, to be your National Insurance Scheme (NIS), to be your Tax Registration Number (TRN) and where, ultimately, your National ID card can be used as proof that you are licensed to drive motor vehicles,” he said.

Minister Green noted that the National ID will be electronic, so it will give the Administration the opportunity to move more services online where persons can use the platform of the national identification system to access these services in a seamless way.

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