National Database and Registration Authority

National Database and Registration Authority
Type Government of Pakistan
Headquarters , Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Area served Pakistan (Now going global through its sister concern i.e. NADRA Technology Ltd. (NTL)
Owner(s) Government of Pakistan
Website NADRA

National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is a federal department of the Government of Pakistan that is responsible for issuing identification cards to the citizens of Pakistan. Employing more than 11,000 member of staff and having more than 400 domestic offices and five international offices, NADRA is one of the largest organisations in the country. According to the organisation itself, NADRA also holds the record for maintaining the largest biometric citizen database in the world [1].



During the tenure of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's government, in 1996 the Ministry of Interior finalised a BOT contract with IBM for setting up a complete ICT infrastructure for National Citizen Database and issuance of computerised National ID Card. This contract was concluded after several due-diligence technical and commercial meetings at ministerial and government levels. This project became highly politicized within the Government of Pakistan, immediately after the Benazir Bhutto's government was dissolved. The Muslim League, the main opposition political party who was then very close to the Army, felt that the contract of national citizen database to an American company the security of the country would be compromised. Eventually the IBM contract was cancelled by the Government, and the Muslim League then in collusion with a General of Pakistan Army suggested to set up an organisation, managed by an army general.

Since 2004, NADRA has maintained its position among the top 50 companies of the world in the field of secure document solution integration[citation needed]. NADRA not only takes pride in producing the Computerised National ID Card of Pakistan but also in producing the world’s first[citation needed] Machine Readable Multi-Biometric Electronic Passport[clarification needed].

Computerised National ID

Since 1973, Pakistan has been issuing National Identity Card (commonly known by the acronym NIC) numbers to its citizens. These numbers are assigned at birth when the parents complete the child's birth registration form (Form RG-2, commonly known as B-Form), and then a National Identity Card (NIC) with the same number is issued at the age of 18. Until, 2001 NIC numbers were 11 digits long. In 2001-2002, the authority started issuing 13-digit NIC numbers along with their new biometric ID cards. The first 5 digits are based on the applicant's locality, the next 7 are serial numbers, and the last digit is a check digit. The old numbers are invalid as of 01 January 2004.

Every citizen is required to have a NIC number, and the number is required for many activities such as getting a driver licence or passport, registering a vehicle, receiving social insurance/Zakat funding, enrolling in college, filing a legal affidavit, wiring funds, paying taxes, opening a bank account, getting a utility connection (phone, cell phone, gas, electricity), etc. However, since some births in the country are not registered, and some Pakistanis do not conduct any of the activities described above, a few do not have ID cards. Obtaining an CNIC also costs PKR 100 (USD 1.11), and this inevitably reduces the number of people who can afford it.[citation needed] In 2007, NADRA announced that it had issued 60 million CNIC (the C standing for computerised) numbers, which is approximately one-third of the population. The authority had issued the 10 millionth CNIC on February 11, 2002; 20 millionth on June 18, 2002; 30 millionth on Dec 22, 2003; 40 millionth on Oct 1, 2004; and 50 millionth CNIC on Feb 14, 2006 [2].

The ID card has the following information on it: Legal Name, Gender, Father's name (Husband's name for married females), Identification Mark, Date of Birth, National Identity Card Number, Family Tree ID Number, Current Address, Permanent Address, Date of Issue, Date of Expiry, Signature, Photo, and Fingerprint (Thumbprint) NADRA also records the applicant's religion, but this is not noted on the CNIC itself.

See also


  1. ^ Nadra Official Website [1]
  2. ^ HOME - National Database and Registration Authority


External links

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