NIN is not the same as a National ID card, though both entities are similar in the sense that they can both be used as means of identification as a citizen of the country. They differ in how they can be used and in what form they appear.
The NIN is an 11-digit number that is unique to an individual and holds details for verifying the identity of the individual. It serves as a tag for accessing the information about an individual saved in the National Identity Database.
The National ID card is just like every other ID card, a physical rectangular card that you can hold, held by an individual for identity verification and access to other national services granted to the citizens.
Both the NIN and National ID card are usually used together, so one might think they are the same thing. But they are not
Difference between NIN and National ID card
Let us look at the differences between the National Identity Number (NIN) and the National ID card below.
1. NIN: The NIN, short for National Identification, is a set of unique numbers assigned to an individual upon successful enrolment into the National Identity Database (NIDB). The enrolment process consists of capturing all fingerprints of an individual and recording demographic data and signature to prove the uniqueness from every other person existing in the system. The NIN is your basic number for identifying you, just like your phone number through which people can contact you.
1. National ID Card: A National ID card is a physical token for identification.
2. NIN: NIN is assigned to anyone without any age restrictions so long as you are a Nigerian or legal resident. Anyone from age 0 years upwards is eligible to have a NIN.
2. National ID Card: The National ID card is only given to Nigerian or legal residents that are of the age of 16 years and above.
3. NIN: The NIN can be used alone for the purpose of identity verification.
3. National ID Card: The National ID card cannot be used for the purpose of identity verification on its own. It must have the NIN installed on the electronic chip embedded on the card, or printed on it (for older cards that are not e-cards) before it can be used for identity verification.
4. NIN: The NIN only serves the purpose of identity verification as it contains the unique identity details of the owner.
4. National ID Card: The National ID card serves more than just for identity verification. The new e-card provides access to multiple features. With PAN (Primary Account Number) printed on it, you can use it for payment as well as other services including voting, pension, travel, driver’s license, and the rest of the features that are being introduced.
5. NIN: The NIN is issued once you finish the enrollment process.
5. National ID Card: Only Nigerians that have been registered into the National Identity System through the NIN enrollment process can be issued a national ID card.
6. NIN: The NIN can only be terminated at the death of the owner after a certificate of death has been submitted.
6. National ID Card: The National ID might be subject to renewal periodically.