Following NIRA’s provision of 50 biometric card readers to assist in the process of verifying citizen’s National I.D during SIM card replacement, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has issued a set of guidelines on the replacement and swapping of SIM cards to the telecom operators and customers.
Having finalized the process of building an API that makes real-time application and verification of National IDs using the National Identity Registration Authority (NIRA)’s database possible, the commission is now working on one to allow acquisition of new SIM cards.
Guidelines To Telecom Operators
Telecommunications operators are expected to acquire and deploy more biometric card readers in due course to facilitate the SIM card registration and replacement process.
Please take note that SIM Swaps and Replacements shall only be done upon satisfaction of the following conditions;
- The customer produces a valid letter from the Uganda Police Force confirming loss of SIM card.
- The customer presents an original National I.D at the telecom’s designated customer care center, a copy of which the operator must retain for each customer served.
- The Operator must verify the authenticity of the National Identification Card using the Electronic Biometric Card Reader machine. The Biometric results must indicate a match.
- The Operator must obtain a fresh Photograph of the customer.
- The Operator must re-register the customer for the SIM Card for immediate replacement.
The Commission reiterates that SIM cards can ONLY be swapped and or be replaced upon fulfillment of all the stated conditions.
This process doesnt cater for persons acquiring a SIM card for the first time on a network. UCC will give notice when the interface Application Programming Interface (API) with NIRA is operational to allow acquisition of new SIM cards.
Guidelines To Users/Customers
The earlier guidelines indicated that one had to get a letter from NIRA verifying and validating their bio-data, but this has been changed. There is no need to visit NIRA offices for a certification letter. Instead, you just have to present an original National I.D at the telecom’s customer care center, in addition to a valid letter from the Uganda Police Force confirming the loss of your SIM card.
Related Article: Where to go for MTN Uganda SIM card replacement
Other guidelines to note include;
- Always verify the number of SIM cards registered on your National Identification Number (NIN) using *197# and report any suspicious or unknown numbers to your service provider.
- Always register your SIM card in person.