National Identity (IDs) Cards which were issued in 2016 have started to expire this year and citizens will be required to pay K2,500 for ID renewal.
The National Registration Bureau has issued a statement saying the IDs started to expire on January 21, 2021.
According to the bureau, the expiry of IDs is in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards which the Malawian IDs are based upon.
As part of the renewal process, ID holders will be required to pay K2,500 to the government. The ID holders are also required to present themselves before a registration officer to update their data.
The National Registration Bureau said in the statement that it expects ID holders to initiate the renewal process 30 days before the expiry. The waiting period for issuance of ID is 30 days but the process most times take over three months.
For people who lost their IDs, they are required to pay the K2,500 processing fee and also present a police report which costs up to K10,000.
Malawi issued national IDs to nine million citizens through a nationwide registration process which began in 2016. The IDs are now widely used as primary identification documents in banks and for government programmes such as cash transfer and subsidy programmes.
However, there have always been questions over the inclusion of expiry date on the IDs and some Malawians suspect that government just want to make money through renewals.