Registration for new ID cards begins
July 17, 2009
Registration for new ID cards begins

Come this November, the majority of persons eighteen years and older in St. Vincent and the Grenadines should be registered owners of the new national identification card.{{more}}

This is the hope expressed by Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb during an interview with Searchlight on Monday. According to Findlay-Scrubb, the current schedule for registration, which runs for four days (Monday to Thursday) a week, allows persons to register at places indicated in their respective constituencies. Findlay- Scrubb said that the schedule will change each week for the next four weeks to see how the system works. A schedule will then be published for the next four months.

It is, however, expected that by November, all eligible persons would have been registered. “We expect that it (registration) could go up to the next four months. If persons cooperate, we have the capacity to register all those persons by November,” the Supervisor of Elections said.

When going to register, Findlay-Scrubb said persons should take along their birth certificates. Photographs will be taken at the registering office in their constituency. Two weeks after registration, persons can collect their new identification cards at the place where they registered. Findlay said that the changes in the registration process which include taking photos and collecting the identification card at the offices in the constituency instead of doing so at the Electoral Office in Kingstown, is a method of making the registering process more affordable and easier for persons and registering officers.

For those persons who are shut-ins, or who are incapacitated in any way, Findlay-Scrubb said that registering officers will complete the registration at the home of the individual and the identification card will be produced and returned there to the individual.

Persons are also requested to dress appropriately when taking photographs. “Persons are asked not to wear sleeveless clothing, no caps, hats, sunglasses or clothing that has writing on the front,” Findlay- Scrubb said.

The new identification card, which is said to be more secure than its predecessor, was developed in partnership with Canadian Bank Note Limited, and according to Findlay, has been adapted to suit international standards. She said persons have said that the new card is “more aesthetically pleasing” than the one currently being used.

The information on the new card will be the same as that on the old card, Findlay-Scrubb said. On the front will be the person’s surnames and forenames, date of birth, nationality and sex, as well as the ID number and expiry date. The back of the card will have a bar code printed on it as well as the individual’s voter’s number, National Insurance Number, place of birth and height.

Although registration can be done after November, Findlay-Srubb is urging persons to take advantage of the resources provided during registration time. She, however, estimates that the current identification card will no longer be accepted by businesses after a while, based on the length of the registration process.(OS)