Herald Reporter
The Registrar General’s Office has issued over 680 000 identity documents over the past three months through the ongoing national mobile registration exercise and the programme will continue over the festive season.

The programme, which initially was supposed to end on November 30, was extended to January 13 due to overwhelming response by the public.

Figures from the RG’s Office show that as of December 15, 681 353 national identity cards had been issued across the country with 161 864 given to citizens aged between 16 and 17 years, while 178 982 were issued to those above 18 years of age.

A further 761 113 people made initial applications for birth certificates with 754 429 birth documents being issued.

The exercise is part of preparations for next year’s harmonised elections and to update the national registry.

A statement from the department reads: “The department of the Registrar-General will be operating throughout the festive holiday. Members of the public are kindly requested to visit any of our offices for personal documents throughout the country. However, the passport offices will not be open to the public for the festive holiday.”

During the same period 184 305 people acquired polythene-synthetic identity cards in place of green paper IDs.

About 30 267 had made initial applications for death certificates, while the department had issued 22 178 death certificates as of last Friday.

Metal identity cards are also being replaced during the exercise and the RG’s Office has urged holders of such documents to change to polythene-synthetic identity cards.

Government has waived all charges relating to the acquisition of civil documents during this period.

The RG’s Office normally charges $10 to replace a national identity card and $5 for a lost birth certificate.

Initial documents are obtained free of charge if acquired within stipulated time-frames.

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