Registration for upgraded national IDs to start June 2024

Gen David Muhoozi, State minister for Internal Affairs. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Gen Muhoozi defended the renewal saying: “This was premised on the idea that the security features of these IDs degenerate with time.”

Mass enrolment to register or renew expiring Identity Cards (IDs) of close to 30 million Ugandans is expected to start June 1, a year later than the original date, internal affairs state minister Gen David Muhoozi, told Parliament on Tuesday.

While the exercise is expected to run up to January 2025, authorities say gaps in preparations at the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA), including absence of funds for recruitment of registration staff, and delays in procurement of necessary systems, threaten to hamstring the process.

Legislators Tuesday expressed concern that any delays, and failure to have the upgraded IDs on time, could plunge the country into gross hiccups as the document has become central to life and business.

The first batch of current Identity Cards were issued in 2014 and 2015 with a 10-year life span setting expiry for between August 2024 and June 2025.

On Tuesday, Gen Muhoozi told the House that there is currently no money for recruitment of registration staff even as a Shs300b supplementary budget was passed for the process.

Only Shs192b was allocated to the cause in quarter three.

But Gen Muhoozi said all other preparations are underway including training of NIRA staff in India on the new National Security Information System. Procurement of the system and other supporting accessories is also ongoing, he confirmed.

Legislators raised multiple concerns, ranging from questioning the necessity of the renewal, as well as the slow process of issuance and access to IDS.  Legislators also want thorough training for the staff to avert errors as witnessed in the last enrollment.  

“…We need it (IDs) ready by January 2025…the anticipation had been that by June you would be done but now when you look at the gaps, you need to arrest our fears so that we do not go into a national crisis,” Parliament deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa observed.

“I want to know if it is not prudent for us to rethink this whole exercise. Before we talk about renewal, a number of Ugandans have not accessed the first ID,” opposition lawmaker Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality) said.

Wakiso Woman MP Ethel Naluyima viewed that authorities must “borrow leads from neighboring countries that do not renew after every 10 years as long as someone has made 18 years, and continues to use similar biometrics.”

Gen Muhoozi defended the renewal saying: “This was premised on the idea that the security features of these IDs degenerate with time.”

“So too, the physical features of persons, which also change over time hence requiring renewal within 10 years,” he explained to MPs.

NIRA will add the iris as an additional biometric feature to the new ID card. The new cards will also have a security feature that can be detected under Ultra Violet in addition to the UV Bi-fluor Red.

This is to further make this card difficult to duplicate and allow for persons with UV Light to test if a card is genuine

What you need to know?

 Section 54 of the Registration of Persons Act (ROPA) 2015, provides for compulsory registration with NIRA of all citizens of Uganda resident in or outside Uganda.

According to the NIRA’s explainer on Mass Enrollment and Mass Renewal, every Ugandan who is above 16 years is eligible to get an ID.

The forthcoming enrolment targets a person who has never applied for registration of a national identification card or National Identification Number (NIN), or a person who applied but has never received a NIN.

Individuals whose national identification card was first issued in 2014 or 2015 and such is due to expire in 2024 or 2025 will apply for renewal. These will be issued a new ID, but the NIN will remain the same.

Holders of IDs whose expiration date is beyond 2025 are not required to renew during the mass renewal exercise.

How much will you pay?

NIRA indicates that renewing and enrolling is free of charge.

Express services for those who would like to receive the card within 48 hours will attract a fee. While Appearing before the Parliamentary Defense and Internal Affairs Committee in 2022, internal affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire said an express ID would cost Shs50,000, same as replacement of a lost one.  


According to their update on their website, NIRA will set up mobile enrolment sites in parishes across all districts in Uganda. Gen Muhoozi’s statement shows that the update and harmonization of administrative units was done in January.

Every Applicant will fill a form (physical or online) requesting for renewal or enrolment. There will be an option of online services to apply for renewal/enrolment for persons who have access to the internet.  After submitting your application, your biometrics will be taken. Those who submit applications online, will be required to go to a mobile enrolment site nearest to them.

Issuance of IDs, according to the updated road map, will start on December 2.