Identity of Botswana




National Identity Card
It is compulsory for all citizens at age 16, and there are penalties for not obtaining it within one month of turning 16 or obtaining citizenship, whichever comes last. Includes the image of the individual (no headgear or eyewear), their particulars, and their right thumbprint. Valid for 10 years, whereupon it must be renewed and a new photograph taken. Must be presented upon request by any agent of the state, and the state requires all non-state institutions to use the national ID card as the only acceptable means of identification for citizens - passports and driver's licences should not be used, even though they contain most of the information on the ID card, including the ID card number. There are penalties for being issued a replacement card when it has been lost, however, if it is changed to update information on it only the application fee must be paid (e.g., upon expiry, and legal name changes as when a woman gets married and assumes her husband's surname). Every time a new one is issued for whatever reason, a new photograph must be taken. The individual keeps their national ID card number for life, and in recent years it has been linked to the birth certificate number of newborn infants (it is the same number). The national ID card must be surrendered to the government upon the demise of the individual, at which time it will be exchanged for an official death certificate.