The first National Identification System (NIDS) pilot enrolment site is scheduled to be established in Kingston and St. Andrew by August 2022.
Being implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister, NIDS is intended to provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the collection and storage of identity information.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, gave an update on the NIDS project during his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 24).
“What we are going to do is to start with a national pilot [which] will be housed in Kingston and St. Andrew just to ensure that any nuances are ironed out before the national rollout,” he noted.
Mr. Green said that five additional enrolment pilot sites are to be set up in Kingston and St. Andrew before the end of the year.
“Continuing on that trajectory, we will expand beyond our pilot… and we will put in an additional eight sites in early 2023 in Greater Portmore, Mandeville, Old Harbour, Black River, Morant Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Maria and Montego Bay,” he told the House.
The Minister said it is expected that by mid-2023, all other parish capitals will have enrolment sites.
Providing further details on the status of the project, the Minister informed that the software to power the card rollout, which includes enrolment, vetting, pre-enrolment and card personalisation, is about 90 per cent completed. “We expect it will be completed over the next two months,” he said.
“Our National Identification Card Production Centre is 97 per cent completed and we have recruited all the staff already and all of them have been subjected to extensive background checks,” Mr. Green said.
He pointed out that the rollout of NIDS is also being facilitated through partnership with Jamaica Post, which will see significant modernisation of the 24 post offices islandwide that will be used as NIDS enrolment sites.
In the meantime, Minister Green informed that the procedure for enrolment into NIDS will be simple and easy to follow.
“The NIDS enrolment process is clear, hassle-free and it will mark the [next] stage of our digitally advanced lives,” he said.
To be eligible for enrolment into NIDS, the applicant must be a citizen of Jamaica, or ordinarily resident for six months and above. Persons must submit documents such as birth certificate, proof of address or marriage certificate.
Applicants will be able to pre-enrol online or visit the nearest enrolment centre. The first step involves the collection of applicants’ biometric data and supporting documents.
At the next stage, a reference number will be given for the applicant to track the application online. For the final stage, once the verification is done, a notification will be sent to the applicant to collect, pin, and activate the national identification (ID) card that will be issued.
The voluntary national identification system will provide a safe, convenient and reliable means of verifying an individual’s identity. It will also facilitate the electronic signing of documents and allow persons to securely access a range of government services online.