The new third-generation IDs, dubbed the Maisha Card, would be distributed by the government for a cost of Sh1 billion.
The new IDs will be distinct from the Huduma Namba, State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok has said.
“We have transitioned from Huduma Namba to Maisha Card. I want to point out that we will not go back to Kenyans for biometrics because we will use the existing database,” he said.
The Huduma Namba digital program was introduced by the previous administration but was halted by the courts due to concerns about data protection.
The Kenya Kwanza administration is now introducing digital IDs with comparable features.
The concept intends to provide residents and citizens with a distinctive and simple-to-verify digital identifier.
The government hopes to improve service delivery and encourage financial inclusion for all by establishing this digital ID system.
The Unique Personal Identifier can be used as both the index number for national exams and the school admittance number.
After turning 18, UPI can be used as an ID, a registration number for NHIF and NSSF, and a driving license number.
The proposed National Digital Identifier (Maisha Namba), Bitok said, has been approved by the National Digital Identity Technical Committee, which was tasked with developing a digital ID.
“At the end of 90 days we will roll out activities for the implementation of Maisha Namba,” he said.
The PS stated that a phased rollout of third-generation IDs is required.
“We will take between two to three years to transition to the new number if we issue about three to four million cards annually,” he said.
Kenyans who need new identification will instead receive the Maisha Card, instead of the second-generation cards.
“About 1.5 million IDs are replaced annually. Those replacing their lost or damaged IDs will get Maisha Cards,” he said.
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