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IC re-registration fee manageable for most, engenders sense of pride and ownership: ICA

We refer to Ms Bertha Henson’s letter, “Why charge Singaporeans for new ICs?” (Nov 13).

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority says its identity-card replacement fees have been unchanged since 2000.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority says its identity-card replacement fees have been unchanged since 2000.

Patrick Ong, Head, Public and Internal Communications, Corporate Communications Division, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority

We refer to Ms Bertha Henson’s letter, “Why charge Singaporeans for new ICs?” (Nov 13).

Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) have to register for the National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) at age 15, and re-register at ages 30 and 55.

Re-registration ensures that NRICs are updated with recent photographs to aid identification of NRIC holders. It also enables citizens and PRs to provide their biometric identifiers to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

The cost of replacing an NRIC is about S$60. Citizens pay S$10 and the balance of S$50 is subsidised. PRs pay a higher fee of S$50.

These fees have been charged and unchanged since 2000. The change is that re-registration is now also required at age 55. This has been the case since Jan 1, 2017.

Ms Henson wants the whole sum to be subsidised. That is possible, but in effect, it means the taxpayer in general would pay the full sum, as opposed to S$50. The applicant would pay nothing, as opposed to S$10.

We believe that a system where the applicant pays a small sum is better: It brings a stronger sense of pride and ownership of the card. The S$10 sum is very manageable for most people. 

Since Jan 1, 2017, when re-registration at age 55 was introduced, 112,900 people have obtained new cards.

Those with financial difficulties and who are unable to pay the NRIC registration and re-registration fees can submit an appeal to ICA.

ICA has waived the re-registration fee for about 40 applicants owing to their financial situation. Each appeal will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. That has been the practice until now.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number. 

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NRIC ICA Singapore citizen Singapore PR

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