Is NIN the Same as National ID Card? – What’s the Difference

Is NIN the same as National ID card

The NIN (National Identification Number) is not the same as the National ID card, even though they serve similar purposes as means of identification for citizens of a country. Here’s how they differ:

The NIN is an 11-digit unique identification number assigned to an individual. It serves as a reference number for accessing and verifying the identity information of an individual stored in the National Identity Database. The NIN is not a physical card but a numeric identifier linked to an individual.

The National ID card is a physical, rectangular card issued to individuals for identification purposes. It includes personal details such as the individual’s name, photograph, date of birth, and other relevant information. The card is tangible and can be carried by the individual as a proof of identity.

While the NIN is a numeric identifier associated with an individual’s information stored in a database, the National ID card is a physical card containing personal details. In many cases, individuals use both the NIN and the National ID card together for various identification and official transactions.

It’s important to note that obtaining the National ID card often involves the registration and issuance of the NIN, but they are distinct entities.

Difference between NIN and National ID card

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the National Identification Number (NIN) and the National ID card:

  1. NIN — The NIN is a unique set of numbers assigned to an individual upon successful enrollment in the National Identity Database (NIDB). It involves capturing fingerprints, demographic data, and a signature for uniqueness. It’s assigned to anyone, regardless of age, as long as they are Nigerian or legal residents and can be used alone for identity verification.
  1. National ID Card — The National ID card is a physical token for identification. It is issued to Nigerians or legal residents aged 16 years and above and cannot be used for identity verification on its own. It must have the NIN installed on the electronic chip (for e-cards) or printed on it (for older non-e-cards) for verification.
  1. NIN — Serves the sole purpose of identity verification, containing unique identity details of the owner.
  1. National ID Card — Beyond identity verification, the new e-card provides access to multiple features, including payment, voting, pension, travel, and driver’s license because of the PAN (Primary Account Number) printed on it.
  1. NIN — Issued upon completion of the enrollment process.
  1. National ID Card — Only issued to Nigerians registered in the National Identity System through the NIN enrollment process.
  1. NIN — The NIN can only be terminated upon the death of the owner, after submitting a death certificate.
  1. National ID Card — The National ID card might be subject to periodic renewal.
The National Identification Number (NIN): What you need to know.


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