Civic & Voter Education Feed

Continuous Registration by the NRB

From May to November, 2017, the National Registration Bureau (NRB), through the National Registration and Identification System (NRIS) Project successfully implemented the national ID mass registration exercise throughout the country.

Over 9 million Malawian citizens were registered as estimated at the beginning of the project. By 31st January, 2018, slightly over 6 million national IDs have been distributed in 17 districts of the central and southern regions and this distribution exercise will continue until every eligible Malawian gets their card.

Despite the national ID mass registration exercise being a success, NRB is aware that there are pockets of Malawians across the country who did not register during the mass registration phase for a number of reasons including being outside the country, sickness, underage (at the time of mass registration) and many other reasons. This scenario was envisaged and Malawians should know that NRB already put in place mechanisms for continuous registration for those that were missed during the mass registration phase, those that are turning 16 years and even those that will some reasons be losing their national IDs.

National ID continuous registration is currently taking place in the District Registration Office (DRO).  This is an NRB office situated at the District Commissioner’s Office in all the 28 districts in Malawi.  At a later stage, NRB will open a counter in each of the operational Post Office across the country where eligible Malawians will be going for registration as well.  Realizing that the DRO and Post Office could still be at a distance to some communities, NRB will periodically be conducting outreach programmes for registration at centres to be announced in the communities just to bring the service closer to the people.

Registration for national ID in the centres mentioned is, at present, only for bonafide Malawians.  Potential registrants will be required to fill a form and have their biometrics (photo and finger prints) taken. In addition, NRB will require every eligible Malawian to prove their citizenship in either of the three ways as follows:

·        Presentation of identification documents with a combined aggregate score of 100% or more i.e, voter ID, Malawi Passport, Drivers licence, Birth Certificate, Payslip, etc

·        Present two community witnesses who will present their National Identity Cards

·        Bring along a Biological parent who will present their National Identity Card

It is, however, important to reckon that the National Registration law penalizes (fine of MK1 million and 5 years imprisonment) anybody who gives false information or testimony in order to be registered.

Since NRB district offices are yet to be electronically connected to the headquarters, through the optic fibre back borne, printing and distribution or collection of national IDs at the moment will be done every month, through DROs, to allow for physical transfer of data and cards to and from the districts.  However, when the connectivity is completed, printing shall be near real timeand distribution after a few days.

NRB would like to encourage Malawians to check the registration and ID status by texting *676# for both TNM and Airtel lines.

This article has been authored by the National registration Bureau. All comments and questions should be directed to the Bureau’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Norman Fulatira on 0999787718 and email