Legal identity is the term used for the legal registration and documentation of a person that helps the individual to access rights, benefits, and responsibilities in their country. This includes documentation of name, personal data, date of birth, and a unique identifier in the form of biometric data or a unique identifying number.

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What Information is Present in a Computerized National Identity Card?

The Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) is the primary legal identification document for Pakistani citizens 18 years of age or older. The National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) issues CNIC to Pakistani citizens (18 years of age or older). The unique 13 digit identification number assigned to every CNIC holder is recognized all over the country. This identification number remains the same throughout a person’s life.

Why is a National Identity Card Important?

Without the primary documentation needed for legal identification like the National Identity Card, fundamental rights and services like social allowances, healthcare, school enrolment, the right to vote, open a bank account, register for a mobile phone SIM card, and the ability to move within and outside countries is often restricted or out of reach.

According to the World Bank Group’s 2018 #ID4D Global Dataset, Pakistan has an estimated 76,543,997 unregistered adult population (aged 18 or above). The unregistered adult population includes 55% women. Depriving a large chunk of the female population of basic access to services.

In this article, we will provide you with the basic steps for acquiring a Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC).

How to Get a CNIC in Pakistan?

You can apply for your CNIC by either visiting NADRA Registration Centers (NRC) located all across Pakistan or through the Pak Identity website. You can find your nearest registration center through NADRA's Rehbar App.

Required Documents:

When any one of the Parents or blood relatives are present

  • Presence of applicant is necessary with original/copy of the CNIC of any one of the parents/blood relative.
  • Presence of any one of the parents/blood relatives for biometric verification of the CNICF (Computerized Identity Card Form).

When any one of the parents or blood relative is an ID Card holder but not present with the applicant

  • Presence of applicant is necessary with original/copy of CNIC of parent/blood relative.
  • Any one of the following Document(s): CRC OR matric/equivalent certificate or mark sheet or domicile/local or passport.
  • Attested CNICF (Computerized Identity Card Form).

When any one of the parents or blood relative who is an ID Card holder but not present and documents are not available

  • Presence of applicant.
  • Original CNIC of parent/blood relative/grandparent.
  • Biometric witness of any CNIC holder along with affidavit and interview to satisfy case officer.
  • Attested CNICF (Computerized Identity Card Form).

CNIC Application Steps:

You will undergo the following steps at NRC for processing of your application:

  • You will be issued a token. Wait for your turn until your token and counter number is announced.
  • Your photograph will be captured.
  • Your fingerprints and signature will be taken.
  • Your required data entry will be processed and the form will be printed for your review before submission.
  • You will be handed over a printed version of your application form which you will require submitting after confirming the printed information and attestation by a gazetted officer (Grade 16 or higher).

Note: If you have a blood relative (father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter) present at the registration center, you can skip the attestation of the form by providing their biometric verification. The individual providing biometric verification should also be a holder of a valid CNIC.

It takes 9 to 31 days to get your national identity card after submission of your request for CNIC. The number of days within which you receive your CNIC will depend upon whether you registered for Normal, Urgent or Executive service.

The fee structure for CNIC changes periodically. You can see the details of the fee structure for each category on the NADRA website. The current rates are also mentioned in the table below. During the registration process, you can also opt for getting your CNIC delivered at your registered mailing address via courier service for a small fee.

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