SINGAPORE - From next year, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) will have to apply for a new National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) when they turn 55.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Monday (Nov 14) that the measure will improve identification of older NRIC holders.
They will have to update their personal particulars and submit a recent photo of themselves.
"As NRIC holders get older, the photographs on the NRIC will become outdated. This may cause difficulties in identification, particularly for the elderly," the ICA said.
"Besides possible inconvenience to the NRIC holders, this may also lead to security risks because the authorities may not be able to correctly identify an individual based on his outdated photograph."
Currently, Singapore citizens and PRs register for an NRIC at 15 years old, and re-register at 30.
The first batch of people affected will be those who turn 55 next year.
Citizens or PRs who turn 55 but have replaced their NRIC in the last 10 years will be exempt.
The ICA will send letters to notify people who have to re-register for an NRIC a month before they turn 55.
Those living in Singapore will have a year to get a new card, while those living overseas will have to do so within a year of returning here.
People can register on the ICA website, by submitting the application form enclosed in the ICA notification letter, or at the ICA building beside Lavender MRT station.
The re-registration is compulsory and will cost $10 for citizens and $50 for PRs.
The ICA said failure to do so will be considered an offence under the National Registration Act. Offenders can be fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to five years, or both.
From 2018, the ICA will introduce optional NRIC re-registration for Singapore citizens and PRs who were born before 1962. Details to be released next year.
The ICA added that iris images will also be taken at the point of NRIC collection, in a process that will take seconds.
It was announced in parliament last Thursday (Nov 10) that the ICA will collect iris images to prepare for the roll-out of eye scanning technology at land, air and sea checkpoints within the next two years.
The images will also be collected when people register or re-register for an identity card or apply for or renew their passport. They will be encrypted and stored in a secure database.