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IC re-registration at age 55 to be compulsory from January

SINGAPORE — From January next year, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PR) will have to re-register for their National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) when they reach age 55, so that data such as photos can be updated.

IC re-registration at age 55 to be compulsory from January

ICA building. Photo: Google Street View

SINGAPORE — From January next year, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PR) will have to re-register for their National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) when they reach age 55, so that data such as photos can be updated.

This is in addition to the current NRIC registration at age 15 and re-registration at age 30, said the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Monday (Nov 14). But those who received a replacement NRIC within 10 years before their 55th birthday will be exempt.

“As NRIC holders get older, the photographs on the NRIC will become outdated. This may cause difficulties in identification, particularly for the elderly. Besides possible inconvenience to the NRIC holders, this may also lead to security risks because the authorities may not be able to correctly identify an individual based on his outdated photograph,” said the ICA in a statement announcing the move.

If an NRIC is found by another person, he or she could assume the identity of the rightful cardholder, said the ICA’s deputy director of Citizen Services Chui Wai Cheng on Monday. “It could be a financial transaction or an attempt to purchase goods and services (by) assuming the identity of another person,” she added.

TODAY understands that the ICA has received reports of such cases but does not track the numbers.

Letters will be sent out to those affected a month before they turn 55, and they have one year to re-register for their new NRIC. The subsidised re-registration fee at age 55 is S$10 for citizens and S$50 for PRs — the same as fees for current registration exercises at age 15 and 30.

As re-registration is mandatory, failing to do so is an offence under the National Registration Act. Offenders can be fined up to S$5,000 or jailed up to five years or punished with both, if convicted.

For its part, the ICA will send out reminder letters, six and nine months after the NRIC holder turns 55 years old, asking the individual to re-register if he or she has not done so.

For those who are bedridden and unable to register in person, family members can submit a request to the ICA to make a home visit for re-registration and provide a doctor’s note on the person’s medical condition.

For those who have turned 55 before 2017, NRIC re-registration will be optional. This group can do so through an exercise that will start from 2018, details of which will be announced next year.

Meanwhile, those who have re-registered at the 30-year mark and have not turned 55, but feel that their NRIC photos do not resemble their current appearance, can also re-apply for a new NRIC. But they will not be able to enjoy the subsidised re-registration fee and will have to bear the normal fee of S$60.

And, from next year, first-time NRIC applicants and those who are re-registering will also have their iris images taken, after laws were passed in Parliament last Thursday allowing the Government to do this in a bid to strengthen identity verification at immigration checkpoints.

Senior Minister of State Desmond Lee said that the authorities will progressively roll out iris-scanning technology at the country’s checkpoints in the next two years.

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