sample ID On Thursday, 27th October, 2016, Malawi President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika launched the much awaited National Identity Card at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.

The launch of the National ID is a clear manifestation of a country in transformation.  From now onwards, Malawians of 16 years and above will be positively identified as citizens of the country.

Furthermore, the Government of Malawi will now implement development projects based on actual statistics and will save costs in a number of sectors providing free services such as health, agriculture and even in elections.

Despite the launch of the card, some sections of the population are still asking on the reasons behind the expiry date placed on the ID Card.

To begin with, Malawians must know that the National ID Card is an extremely secure card, durable and sophisticated with important features embedded and was designed based on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which sets the standards for passports and other official electronic documents.

As such, the Malawi National ID card has an expiry date to comply with international standards. For security reasons any official document of identity must have an expiry date, like a passport or a driver’s license, and identity cards are included in these types of documents.

If we go by the National Registration Act of 2010, the National ID Card is required to be replaced if the photo on the card is not clearly of the appearance of the person registered.

Again common sense will tell us that as we age, our face changes and it is generally held that for the average person, after ten years it is necessary to update the photo.

In terms of materials being used for the Malawian National ID card, they are one of the best available to be long lasting. However, even using those state of the art materials, the lifetime of a card is usually at most ten years.

World-wide, one of the greatest challenges for any National ID system is being able to ensure that people that have passed away are removed from the National Register. “Ghosts” in the National Register reduces its accuracy and integrity. When a person passes away their National ID card should be returned to the nearest District Registrar at a Post Office or Council office. Sometimes this does not happen. So to ensure that a replacement card is required every ten years, also tells the Government that a person is alive or may have passed away if they do not come for replacement.

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