1. What is the National Identification System?
This is a multi-purpose national database (national register) set up to:
- Collect, hold and provide accurate and comprehensive personal information on all Ghanaian citizens living in the country and abroad and all legally and permanently resident non-Ghanaians in the country.
- Create unique identities using proven biometric identifiers –namely fingerprints, iris and facial dimensions.
- Randomly generate unique personal identification numbers and assign them permanently to individuals whose personal details are stored in the database.
- Facilitate the processing and issuance of National Identity cards to all those who are aged zero years and above.
It also consists of:
- A process that specifies the participants who will be enrolled and the users (individuals, organizations, government, etc.) that will have access to the data.
- The permitted uses of the data, the legal and operational policies and procedures, the security and privacy regulation for its operations.
2. What is the ‘’Ghanacard’’?
It is a secure and multi-purpose card that will establish the biometric identity of bona fide holder for verification and authentication of electronic and physical transactions to be conducted in the public and private services space.
3. Who is qualified to be registered?
There are three (3) categories of people to be registered, namely:
- All Ghanaian citizens by Birth (descent), Registration or Naturalisation aged zero (0) years and above and currently resident in Ghana.
- All Ghanaian citizens living abroad
- Foreign national legally/permanently resident in Ghana.
4. Are those who registered for the GhanaCard in 2008 up to 2013 required to register again?
Yes, everyone who has registered before will have to register again to update his/her personal data on the NIS and receive a new identity card.
5. What type of data will I be expected to provide for registration purpose?
Every Applicant will be required to provide to the Registration Officer/Assistant (Interviewer) three (3) types of personal data for the purpose of Registration. These three (3) types of data mainly include:
(a) Applicant’s personal data/information;
(b) Applicant’s parental, spousal and next of kin data/information; and
(c) Applicant’s Institutional verification documents.
Mandatory data fields with asterix (*) are compulsory and must be filled by every Applicant who registers while Non-Mandatory data fields are optional.
6. What is the duration of the Mass Registration exercise?
The Mass Registration is a one-time registration process that will enable everyone to be registered at the over 2000 centres in each regional registration operational area across the country and their respective locations.
This mass registration exercise is expected to last for one year. However, registration for the issuance of the Ghana Card will continue indefinitely.
The national timetable would be publicized, however regions that are densely populated e.g. Greater Accra and Ashanti regions will have the registration exercise for two months and one month for the other regions.
7. Will registration be continuous or will it be done at different periods?
Mass registration is a one- time process; Continuous registration on the other hand will allow for;
- Registration of newly born children.
- Persons who have not already registered, such as Ghanaians who return from abroad, on visit or relocate to Ghana.
This continuous registration process also allows for the update of the national register with additional information given by an individual at any time.
NIA will establish district offices at Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly level in conjunction with the Births and Deaths Department for the continuous registration exercis.
8. Will there be on-going registrations at the NIA Head office during the Mass Registration period?
Yes, there will be an on-going registration of individuals interested in booking an appointment for a fee – this can be done via our online portal (www….)
9. Why is it important to get your personal information into the National Identification Register?
If your personal information is not in the National Identification Register you may be excluded in the formal economy of Ghana and lose out on several social, economic and political benefits.
10. What is the importance of the new GhanaCard?
- The Ghana Card makes it easy to prove your identity or citizenship.
- Your inability to establish your identity in future could make life difficult for you in Ghana since government policy seeks to formalize the economy.
- With the Ghana Card, accessing social services such as Health, Education, Communications, Insurance, banking etc would be safer, easier and faster.
11. Can I register for a relation who is incapacitated or not immediately available during the registration in my area?
- All Applicants are to appear in person to register at designated registration centres to establish their biometric identity.
- However, mobile registration units will be deployed to serve isolated communities and those who cannot present themselves at the registration centres like persons with disabilities, the sick who are bed ridden, those in hospitals, prisons etc.
- The provision of mobile registration service would have to follow official notification and arrangements within reasonable conditions for NIA Officials, facility managers and family relations of the vulnerable person(s).
12. Assuming I have already registered during the 2018/2019 National Identity Card Mass Registration Exercise and have changed my residence. Can I register again?
You are entitled to register once. In this case, you will update your residential address and/or Digital Address Code.
Remember, registering more than once is a registration offence punishable by law involving a fine and/or imprisonment depending on the gravity of the offence committed.
13. What if I change my address and residence?
The law requires that you notify the Authority of any change of circumstances that affects the personal information recorded about the holder in the Register within 30days after the change in circumstance occurs.( Failure to do that is an offence.)
- . Applicants can update their non-mandatory personal data as and when changes occur to keep the NIS database functionally updated and comprehensive over time.
- . Therefore, when one changes his/her location, the nearest district and regional office should be contacted about such changes for the appropriate update to be carried out for.
- . The Digital Address Code of your new residence can also be updated.
14. Without the required documents can one still register?
If you genuinely do not have the mandatory verification documents [Passport or Birth Certificate], you can have a relative who has already registered vouch for you.
If you do not have a relative to vouch for you then you would have to find two people who know you to be a citizen and have already registered and are willing to vouch for you
15. How much is the fee for the Ghana Card?
The Ghana Card is free for Ghanaians in the first instance.
However, if you want to register by appointment as an institution or family, you will be required to pay a fee to be determined by the Authority.
Furthermore, renewals and replacements of lost or stolen cards will also attract a fee.
16. Why is NIA issuing new identity cards?
- . The new biometric cards will enable the NIA meet todays enhanced technological user needs and globally acceptable standards.
- . Majority of Ghanaians did not receive their cards after the first mass registration exeercise in 2008 and the current government is of the conviction that the issuance of the Ghana Card to all Ghanaians is very important to Ghana’s development.
17. What are the differences in the physical features of the old and the new card?
- There are some visible and not visible additional features on the new Ghana Card namely;
- Aluminum Watermark.
- Dual Interface Chip Module,
- Tactile, Ultra Violet Feature,
- UV Printing, ECOWAS Logo, Card Access Number and Document number.
- The back features are as follows; Tracking number, E-passport Symbol, Contactless Symbol-indicate compatibility with other card readers and Machine Readable Zone(MRZ)
18. How many days will it take to be issued with the Ghana Card and where can I collect it?
The new Ghana Card will be issued instantly for ages 15yrs and above at centres with data/electricity connectivity.
There will be deferred issuance at the other centres for ages 0-14 as well as rural and semi-rural areas without data and electricity connectivity
19. What do you do when your Ghana Card is misplaced or stolen?
You have to report to the National Identification Authority and the Police.
You would then be taken through a process which requires you to depose to an affidavit to certify the veracity of the loss, theft, damage, interference or destruction of the identity card and payment of a fee for the replacement.
It is therefore advisable for holders to protect and secure their cards.
20. Will Ghanaians living abroad who have just visited Ghana at the time of the Mass Registration be allowed to Register?
- Because they do not reside in Ghana and therefore will not be able to participate in the Mass Registration process
- However, Ghanaians living abroad will be able to register at a later date when NIA sets up Registration Centers in Ghana Missions abroad.
21. Will persons of unsound mind or mental incapacity be registered?
- All these categories of confined persons are required to register. As much as possible they will be registered under confined, controlled and appropriate environments.
22. How does this system take care of the physically challenged, persons with visual and hearing impairment and other vulnerable persons?
In addition to assistance to be provided by registration officers, it is advisable for the physically challenged to be assisted at the various registration centres by their relatives or a friend.
The registration centres would be made conducive for persons with disability and the elderly [65yrs and above].
23. Is the Ghana Card going to replace all the cards in circulation e.g Voters ID, NHIS card, SSNIT card, DVLA card etc?
The Ghana Card has a 140k chip with 14 applets and the capacity to accommodate all other cards in circulation. We are likely to have fewer cards in the future when adequate harmonization of systems with the other ID card issuing agencies have been done.
24. Is the digital address a mandatory requirement for a Ghana card?
This will confirm the residential location, name and address.
25. Can the new Ghana Card be used in traveling to other ECOWAS countries?
The new Ghana Card can be used for international travel within the ECOWAS region when countries in the region begin to use e-gates at their borders.
Its features are compliant with ICAO standards.
26. Is the new Ghana Card equivalent to a passport?
The Ghana Card has the features of an e-passport and can be used for travels where immigration stamps are not required.
27. How will the biometrics of babies be captured since we are told that their fingerprints are not well formed?
Children below six (6) years would have their Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) tied to their birth certificate numbers.
When they turn six years, they will be required to update their records at NIA with their finger prints and others.
28. How do I challenge someone who is not a Ghanaian but wants to register as a Ghanaian?
You will politely have to inform the Registration Officer of the centre about your misgivings and a Status Verification Form will be given to you to complete in order to process your challenge.
29. Are foreigners allowed to take part in the Mass Registration exercise?
- The current Mass Registration exercise is being conducted for Ghanaians only, at designated Centres.
- Foreigners on the other hand are to register on a different system known as FIMS which is a continuous registration process.
30. Will foreign visitors entering Ghana be issued with ID Cards?
Foreign visitors entering Ghana cannot register to receive ID Cards. However, a foreign visitor who has resided in Ghana for a cumulative period of 90days or has a residence permit is eligible and will be required to provide personal details to the National Identification Authority [FIMS] for the issuance of a Non-Citizen GhanaCard at a cost of $120.
31. Does the Ghana Card have an expiry date and why?
The Ghana Card will expire after ten years. This is inevitable because of technological changes and the fact that the estimated lifespan of the card body is ten years
32. What is an Identity Verification document?
An Identity verification document is a valid and primary document which serves as evidence for establishing your identity for registration.
33. How do I prove my identity?
You can prove your identity by showing any one of the following verification documents:
a. A Valid Birth Certificate issued (through a verifiable process) at the Births and Death Registry
b. A Valid Passport issued (through a verifiable process) at the Passport Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
c. Applicants who do not have any valid verification document can only be allowed to register under Oath by filling the Form of Oath and witnessed by a qualified and registered Applicant already issued with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and validated by a Commissioner of Oath.
34. What are the requirements for registration?
The applicant will be required to
Fill the registration form and provide a valid birth certificate, a valid passport or a valid certificate of acquired citizenship.
Applicants with documents or ID cards of the following institutions must bring them along for hamonization; SSNIT, DVLA (LICENCE), NHIS, TAX (TIN), PASSPORT, EC (VOTER CARD).
One can also go to the Registration Centre with documentary evidence to support the information provided on the registration form
35. My parents settled in Ghana a long time ago and I count myself as Ghanaian although I have no documents, will I be considered a foreign national?
- You do not need to worry. The registration team will listern to your parents, head of family and or local traditional leaders and thereafter apply the citizenship law to determine with valid reasons whether or not you are a citizen.
36. How does one prove his or her citizenship?
By providing evidence that a parent or grandparent was or is a citizen of Ghana.
37. How long does it take to replace a Ghanacard?
Report to the police and the National Identification Authority immediately your card is misplaced or stolen.
Swear an affidavit confirming the loss of the card.
Pay replacementfee and a new card will be re-issued using the data collected during the first issuance process.
38. How safe is the personal information being provided for the registration?
Standard IT security systems are in place to secure the database of the authority.
39. What is being done to prevent foreigners from registering for the Ghana Card?
The vetting procedures for the issuance of the GhanaCard during the mass registration of Ghanaians is quite rigorous and would be very difficult for foreigners to take advantage of it.
Law enforcement officers would also be present to arrest any foreigner who tries to register illegally.
Moreover, there is an audit trail on all staff operating the machines so any staff who is compromised would be detected, arrested and prosecuted.
40. How does one distinguish a Non-Citizen Ghana Card from the one issued to Ghanaians?
Both citizens and non-citizens would have the same ID card.
The only distinguishing feature on the cards is the country code in the Personal Identification Number (PIN) i.e. the PIN for Ghanaians start with the code “GHA” followed by ten digits “GHA-000000000-0” whilst that for Nigerians for example will read “NRG-000000000-0” per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) country codes and foreigners card has NON-CITIZEN in bold red on the front of the card.
41. Will Refugees also be issued with the National ID Card?
They will be issued with cards with the inscription REFUGEE indicated on their card.
42. How does the Ghana Card help in ensuring the safety of Ghanaians?
- An unsafe environment is where individuals in that space cannot be identified or accounted for.
- On the flipside, an environment where individuals can be identified and accounted for is more secure and safe. Crimes thrive in anonymity.
43. Is there a possibility that signatures which are present on the card can be cloned and used by criminals to access personal details?
The system has been configured to detect inconsistencies with regards to individual card signatures.
This prohibits fraudsters from accessing personal information. Additionally, security features present on the card (see No.9) will also serve to protect user information.
44. How would the NIS support other stakeholders e.g DVLA, SSNIT, TELCOS, BANKS, GIS, GRA etc?
- The institutions mentioned above through the right procedures and approvals can access the data in the custody of the authority.
- The procedures to be followed would be in conformity with Data protection laws and principles.
- They could also take advantage of the 14 applets on the GhanaCard.
45. Some institutions don’t accept the Ghana Card for purposes of identification, what are one’s options in cases like that?
You should report such institutions to the NIA because refusal to accept the Ghana Card for purposes of identification is in violation of the laws of Ghana.
46. What is the nature of identity card I will receive after going through the registration process?
Applicants will be issued with identity cards as follows:
a. Applicants who are 15 years and above will receive a smart dual interface identity card.
b. Applicants who are 14 years and below will receive a 2 Dimensional identity card
47. Why are Ghanaian children being issued with 2D bar code cards and children who are foreign nationals are given a smart card?
- . Foreigners (regardless of age) are required to pay for their Smart Cards, a cost Ghanaians are exempt from with regards to the first issuance.
- . To facilitate the likely national and international travel of foreigners, a smart card containing all necessary biometric information is a prerequisite.
- . Moreover, the Authority has quite a lot of 2D barcode cards which when issued to Ghanaian children below 15years will serve as adequate identification for them, which will also save the country money and prevent waste.
48. Are holders of the old National ID required to register for the new GhanaCard?
Yes, holders of the old GhanaCard are also required to register for the new identity card.
49. Will I be registered if my passport has expired?
Your passport must be valid.
50. How will the national identification authority (NIA) ensure that every eligible person is registered?
Given the large size of the population, the country will be zoned into 12 NIA Operational Regions for registration to be carried out systematically.
Registration officials will be in one operational region at a time to ensure that every eligible person is given the chance to register.
Those who may not be able to register during the mass registration will be given another opportunity to do so through the NIA district offices.
51. Some Ghanaians have many passports and will come with different dates and places of birth. In such instances, how will the proper date be determined?
The portion for date and place of birth on the Registration Form are mandatory data fields for which one cannot complete registration without them.
Therefore, valid dates and places of birth given at a point of registration with high evidential value will be taken as correct and official and will not be changed afterwards for any reason.
Deliberate change of date of birth attracts punitive sanctions including fines and imprisonment when detected.
52. Will the National Identification Authority (NIA) register Ghanaians living abroad? If so why?
The National Identification Authority law simply states that Ghanaians should be registered.
It does not distinguish between Ghanaians at home and those living abroad.
Ghanaians living abroad will therefore be registered.
Registration for Ghanaians abroad will however be done as an open and continuous process to enable them avail themselves at their convenience at various designated registration centres located across the world.
53. It is believed that Ghanaians live everywhere on the globe and some may be undocumented and thus declared illegal immigrants. How can they be traced and be well informed about the National Identification System (NIS) so that they can take part in the registration?
. The NIA will seek the assistance of Ghana’s foreign missions and Associations of Ghanaians living abroad to reach out to all of them.
. NIA will also use the print and electronic media, including the internet, to facilitate the spread of information.
. Personal information provided by Ghanaians living abroad will be kept strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to the governments or agencies of the countries in which they live. Thus, they will be assured of adequate protection of their personal identity.
54. What measures are there to make sure that the country’s borders are well secured to prevent ineligible foreigners from registering?
. The Ghana Immigration Service and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service will work closely with NIA during the time of registration.
. The NIA is working closely with communities and district assemblies along the borders of the country to develop mechanisms to manage and control registration in these locations
55. How will the NIA ensure that people who do not know their ages give correct date of birth?
Registration officials will be trained and guided by a list of historical events that can easily be referenced in order to arrive at the nearest, if not the exact, birth date of people who cannot remember or do not know their date of birth. The system will generate 1st July if the year of birth is determined.
56. What measures are there to ensure adequate training of registration officials in order to minimize difficulties at registration centers?
- . The Authority will recruit and train registration personnel, especially those who have had similar experiences in carrying out national registration exercises.
- . The training process will be quite thorough to enable officials handle the registration process and procedures effectively and efficiently.
- . Registration under the NIS will be partly paper-based and partly electronic.
- . The NIA will therefore train people who have basic interviewing, recording, data entry as well as information and communication technology skills to operate high-tech computers.
- . Registration officials would largely be selected from their local areas to ensure they can work efficiently and effectively with the community leaders.
- . During registration, various guidelines would be provided to enable them deal with problem that arise, and there would be a monitoring team moving around to check on the registration process.
57. Some people may choose not to register. Do they stand to face any PUNITIVE MEASURES
. It is hoped that the ongoing public education on the NIS will encourage everyone to come forward to register.
. The NIA however has the Authority to COMPEL ANYONE WHO MAY CHOOSE NOT TO REGISTER to provide information and will outline a policy and PUNITIVE MEASURES to be applied to those who may fail to participate.
. However, it is important to note that one is likely to face difficulties for refusing to take part in this national exercise.
. Many governmental and private agencies will require the ID cards in order to provide the needed services. Institutions such as hospitals, schools, banks, insurance companies, and telecommunication companies as well as those in the aviation industry are examples of agencies that may require the ID cards to provide efficient services.
58. If someone provides false information in order to acquire the card, what will the NIA do about it?
It is an offence for anyone to give false information and declaration to the NIA. Offenders will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
59. What measures are being put in place to ensure that people do not forge the ID cards?
- . The card will be custom designed for this country and will be embedded with several security features and information to enable its genuineness to be ascertained at all times during transactions requiring its use.
- . Organizations and businesses would be equipped with the means to check and authenticate its genuineness and various legal procedures will be put in place to deal with forgeries should they occur.
60. How will double registration be prevented?
There is a mechanism provided for checking and eliminating double registration based on fingerprint matching/comparison.
There are two main steps in the process; first, at the Registration Center, each person’s fingerprint taken would immediately be compared with, and matched against several others already taken, and stored in the database.
Anyone who attempts double registration at the centre would therefore be found out as the system will indicate the fingerprints being compared already exist.
61. What will be done to avoid identity fraud (i.e. impersonation and abuse of the system and the card)?
The NIA has put the following measures in place to deal with these issues.
- – Persons who do not have any business to transact with the Authority will not be permitted to loiter around the premises or environs of the Authority;
- – Internal security measures tailored to suit the operations of the staff of NIA within the Authority have been prepared.
- – Several levels of authorization are required for anyone to enter the Authority as well as to undertake any assigned work.
- – Work undertaken by staff and other persons would continually be monitored and reported about.
- – There will be periodic check within the organization during which various workstations are randomly selected to verify who has attempted to enter the system.
- – There will be an electronic register that will record the fingerprint of any person who engages in any transaction. Unauthorized access will be investigated and culprits dealt with accordingly;
- – Data communication network will be protected to prevent abuse by a third party. Various software’s will be installed as preventive measures to help check and detect any intrusions into the system(s).
- – The ID card has security features that are customized to the holder. Unique personal features such as fingerprint or facial appearance make it impossible for two persons to use one card.
62. How will the privacy of the individual be protected, given that the NIA will share data with other agencies?
The NIA is putting in place strict information sharing guidelines for all agencies to follow.
- . All agencies that will be linked to the system would have to put in place information practices acceptable to the NIA before they are allowed to use information provided by the system.
- . Data protection and the privacy of the individual whose information will be held in the national database will be secured by law and any breach will therefore be appropriately dealt with under the law.
- . All informatin request for information will be carefully assessed using strict guidelines before it is released to the party requesting it and would be used only for the purpose for which it has been requested/ released.
63. How will the system be secured and sustained?
- . The system and its continuous operation will be secured and sustained through various levels of physical and electronic security arrangements and contingency plans put in place to deal with disasters or disruptions in the flow of work.
- . A backup system will be provided and located completely away from the National Data Centre to avoid complete data loss assuming disaster occurs at the Data Center.
- . A combination of power provision is made to include the use of electricity from the ECG System with the use of generators and solar systems as main backups against power failure
64. Will the NIA collaborate with state agencies such as the Ghana Statistical Service and the National Health Insurance Authority?
- By law the NIA is required to collaborate with a number of institutions such as the Births and Deaths Registry, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Revenue Authority, National Health Insurance Authority, Ghana Statistical Service, Social Security and National Insurance Trust amongst others.
- This is intended to harmonize their data systems for future integration.
- These agencies which are part of the NIA governing Board are considered as crucial for the socio-economic development of the country if they are properly integrated.
65. What roles has the NIA defined for traditional and religious leaders?
- The NIA is already involved with traditional and religious leaders in its public education programme.
- During registration, traditional rulers may also assist in resolving issues that may come up at the community level
66. How will the NIA reach people living in the interlands and areas that are dificult to reac so as to enable them unsderstand and apprciate the program?
- . The NIA has invested in awareness creation and public education materials for both electronic and print media.
- . Various media placements would be made using television, radio and the print media to extensively provide information to the public. Flyers and Brochures will be distributed extensively.
- . There will also be interactive meetings and seminars.
- . In addition, the NIA is collaborating with the Information Service Department, the NCCE and Department of Community Development; among other public sector agencies to provide intensive public education at the various community levels.
- . Furthermore, special programme are being planned at targeted areas considered difficult to reach using the agencies mentioned above.