National ID cards planned for all Cayman residents

The Legislative Assembly building in downtown George Town.

Every person in Cayman could soon be required to carry a national identity card.

Government is compiling a database of all individuals on the island with the aim of implementing a national ID scheme next year, Commerce Minister Joey Hew said Wednesday.

He said each card would carry a unique chip and an identity number that would link to government’s database – which he referred to as a “register of natural persons”.

Hew said the register would link government’s databases so that information – from immigration status to vehicle ownership – could be consolidated under one ID.

Part of the aim is to make it easier for people to access e-government services.

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For Caymanians, he said the cards would also contain voter registration data.

Hew, speaking in the Legislative Assembly following questions from George Town legislator Kenny Bryan, said government was considering implementation of the national ID plan from mid-2020. He said no decision had been taken on whether people would be charged for the cards, and the budget and timeline for implementation had not yet been finalised.

Hew said, “Work has started on [the] register of natural persons, which is a key prerequisite project to document all residents of our island electronically. This is scheduled to be completed by next year.”

He said the list would be derived from general registry and immigration and work permit system and cross-referenced with electoral roll and drivers license data.

“This register will provide an ID number for each person so that in the future each person can be uniquely recognized in each government system they are interacting with. Such clarity will remove confusion such as shared names in our systems, and is a key step towards e-conveyancing and joined-up government.”

He said the register would become a source of record for Cayman Immigration Status and be linked to key reference information such as a person’s right to reside in the islands.

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