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National Registration Act
(CHAPTER 201)

(Original Enactment: Act 11 of 1965)

REVISED EDITION 1992
(9th March 1992)
An Act for the registration of persons in Singapore, for the issue of identity cards and for purposes connected therewith.
[5th May 1966]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the National Registration Act.
Interpretation
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of National Registration appointed under section 3;
“householder” means the owner, tenant, sub-tenant or occupier of a house, shophouse, flat, apartment, hut or other dwelling place;
“identity card” means an identity card issued under the provisions of this Act, and includes an identity card issued or deemed to be issued under the Registration of Persons Ordinance 1955;
[32/55]
“registration officer” means the Commissioner of National Registration, the Deputy Commissioner of National Registration, any Assistant Commissioner of National Registration and any person appointed as a registration officer under section 3.
Appointment of officers
3.
—(1)  The Minister may appoint a Commissioner of National Registration, a Deputy Commissioner of National Registration and such number of Assistant Commissioners of National Registration as the Minister may consider necessary or expedient for the purposes of this Act.
[20/90]
(1A)  The Commissioner may appoint such number of registration officers as he may think fit for the purposes of this Act.
(1B)  The Deputy Commissioner of National Registration and the Assistant Commissioners of National Registration shall have and may exercise all the powers conferred on the Commissioner under this Act, subject to such limitations as the Commissioner may think fit to impose.
(1C)  Any person appointed by the Commissioner under subsection (1A) shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of the Penal Code [Cap. 224].
(2)  The Commissioner shall, subject to the general direction and control of the Minister, perform the duties and exercise the rights and powers imposed and conferred upon him by this Act.
(3)  The Deputy Commissioner of National Registration, the Assistant Commissioners of National Registration and all registration officers shall be under the direction and control of the Commissioner.
Establishment of register
4.
—(1)  The Commissioner shall cause to be kept and maintained a register of all persons in Singapore who are required to be registered under the provisions of this Act.
[20/90]
(2)  The register shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as the Commissioner thinks fit.
(3)  A copy of or extract from any document, including a copy produced by way of microfilm or computer print-out, filed or lodged at the office of the Commissioner, certified to be a true copy or an extract under the hand and seal of the Commissioner shall in any proceedings be admissible in evidence as of equal validity with the original document.
Registration
5.  Subject to section 6 and any exemptions which may be granted by regulations made under section 19, every person lawfully resident within Singapore shall be registered under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act and of any regulations made thereunder.
Re-registration of persons in possession of identity cards
6.
—(1)  Every person who, on 3rd June 1990, is in possession of a valid identity card issued under this Act shall re-register under this Act within such period as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, specify.
[20/90]
(2)  All identity cards issued under this Act before such date shall cease to be valid on the expiration of the period within which persons in possession of such identity cards are required to be re-registered under subsection (1).
(3)  Nothing in this section shall prevent the re-registration of a person who fails to re-register within the period specified in subsection (1).
[28/94 wef 01/03/1995]
Issue of identity cards
7.  Subject to the provisions of this Act and any regulations made thereunder, every person registered under this Act shall be issued with an identity card.
[20/90]
Change of residence
8.
—(1)  Any person registered under the provisions of this Act who changes his place of residence shall, within 28 days thereof, report the change to a registration officer.
[20/90]
(2)  Where a person registered under the provisions of this Act has changed or changes his place of residence to a place outside Singapore, he may inform a registration officer of his contact address in Singapore, which shall be —
(a)
the address of any premises in Singapore which he still owns an estate or interest in and which is used or permitted under written law to be used as residence; or
(b)
the address of the place of residence in Singapore of —
(i)
his or her spouse, grandparent, parent, sibling, child or grandchild;
(ii)
any grandparent, parent or sibling of his or her spouse; or
(iii)
any sibling of any of his or her parents or his or her spouse’s parents or any child of any of his or her siblings or spouse’s siblings.
[19/2001 wef 15/05/2001]
Transmission of information of change of a person’s place of residence to Government departments, statutory authorities and public officers
8A.
—(1)  Where —
(a)
any person is required by any written law to inform any Government department, statutory authority or public officer of any change of his place of residence; and
(b)
it is provided by such written law that that person shall be deemed to have complied with the requirement thereunder to inform the Government department, statutory authority or public officer of any change of his place of residence if he makes a report of the change under section 8,
the Commissioner shall, upon that person making a report of a change of his place of residence under section 8, transmit to the Government department, statutory authority or public officer information of the change of that person’s place of residence as reported by him.
(2)  Where the Commissioner has transmitted information of a change of a person’s place of residence to any Government department, statutory authority or public officer under subsection (1) —
(a)
neither the Government nor any registration officer nor any authorised person involved in the transmission of the information shall be liable for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of any error or omission of whatever nature appearing in the information transmitted or however caused if such error or omission was made in good faith and in the ordinary course of the discharge of the duties of such registration officer or authorised person; and
(b)
the Government department, statutory authority or public officer to which or to whom the information has been transmitted shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of any error or omission of whatever nature appearing in the information transmitted or however caused by any registration officer or authorised person involved in the transmission of the information.
(3)  For the purpose of this section, “public officer” shall include the holder of any statutory office.
[28/94 wef 01/03/1995]
Returns by householders
9.
—(1)  Every householder shall, when so required in writing by a registration officer, submit in respect of his household such returns, at such times during the year, as may be prescribed for the carrying out of the provisions of this Act.
(2)  Such returns shall be sent by a householder to such public officer or statutory authority as may be declared by the Minister by notification in the Gazette to be a public officer or statutory authority for the purposes of this section.
(3)  The owner, manager or other person in charge of a hotel, boarding house, hostel or other like dwelling place may be required by a registration officer to submit the returns required under subsection (1).
Cancellation of registration
10.
—(1)  Where a person has been registered under the provisions of this Act and the Minister is satisfied that the registration —
(a)
was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact; or
(b)
was effected by mistake,
the Minister may by order require the Commissioner to cancel the registration of that person.
[20/90]
(2)  Any person whose registration is cancelled under this section shall forthwith surrender his identity card to the Commissioner.
Onus of proof of contents of written applications and of identity cards, etc.
11.  The onus of proving the truth of the contents of any written application for registration made under the provisions of this Act and any regulations made thereunder or the contents of an identity card shall be on the applicant or on the person to whom the identity card was issued or on any other person alleging the truth of the contents.
Proof of citizenship by birth
12.
—(1)  No claim by a person seeking to be registered under this Act that he is a citizen of Singapore by birth shall, subject to subsection (3), be accepted by a registration officer if the person making the claim does not produce a birth certificate or other evidence to his satisfaction.
(2)  The onus of proving the status of citizenship of Singapore by birth shall be on the person who makes the claim.
(3)  The evidence of —
(a)
a birth certificate without the name of the child;
(b)
a birth certificate without the name of the child, but supported by a statutory declaration to the effect that the birth certificate refers to the birth of the person referred to in the statutory declaration; or
(c)
an identity card issued or deemed to be issued under the provisions of the Registration of Persons Ordinance 1955, wherein the holder of the identity card is stated to have been born in Singapore,
shall not necessarily be sufficient evidence for the purposes of subsection (1).
[32/55]
Offences and penalties
13.
—(1)  Any person who —
(a)
is required to register under this Act, or being registered under this Act, is required to re-register under this Act fails to register or re-register within the prescribed time or period;
(b)
fails to report his change of residence as required under section 8;
(ba)
informs a registration officer of an address as a contact address that is false or is not an address described in section 8(2)(a) or (b);
[19/2001 wef 15/05/2001]
(c)
fails to submit, or fails to submit within the time prescribed, such returns as are required to be submitted under section 9;
(d)
without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, is in possession of one or more identity cards;
(e)
unlawfully deprives any person of an identity card;
(f)
fails or refuses to surrender his identity card to the Commissioner as required under section 10(2); or
(g)
defaces, mutilates or destroys an identity card,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.
[20/90]
(2)  Any person who —
(a)
without lawful authority, parts with possession of any identity card to any person;
(b)
without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, knowingly obtains or is in possession of or makes use of a forged identity card or an identity card other than his own;
(c)
unlawfully issues or reproduces an identity card or any part thereof; or
(d)
forges, erases, alters or falsifies any entry in or tampers with an identity card,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to both.
(3)  The Commissioner may accept from any person who is reasonably suspected of having committed an offence under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) a sum not exceeding $200 by way of composition for the offence which may have been committed.
[28/94 wef 01/03/1995]
(4)  Any person who aids or abets in the commission of any offence under this Act shall be guilty of an offence.
(5)  Every offence under this Act shall be deemed to be a seizable offence for the purposes of the Criminal Procedure Code [Cap. 68].
Provision of information by Housing and Development Board
13A.
—(1)  Any registration officer duly authorised by the Commissioner may, if the registration officer considers it necessary for administering or enforcing any requirement under this Act or any regulations made thereunder relating to the registration or re-registration of any person or to the reporting of any change of residence, by written notice require the Board to disclose any secret or confidential document or information which is in the possession or control of the Board.
(2)  The Board shall disclose the document or information required by a registration officer under subsection (1) notwithstanding any obligation as to secrecy or confidentiality imposed by any law.
(3)  Any registration officer to whom any document or information has been disclosed under subsection (2) shall not disclose that document or information to any other person except —
(a)
to another law enforcement officer for the performance of his official duties in administering or facilitating the administration of any written law, provided the Board consents to such disclosure; or
(b)
for the purpose of criminal proceedings.
(4)  Any registration officer who contravenes subsection (3), or any law enforcement officer who discloses any document or information obtained under that subsection to any other person other than for the purpose specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
(5)  In this section, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Board” means the Housing and Development Board established under section 3 of the Housing and Development Act (Cap. 129);
“disclose”, in relation to any document or information, includes allowing access to such document or information;
“law enforcement officer” means —
(a)
any police officer;
(b)
any immigration officer within the meaning of the Immigration Act (Cap. 133); or
(c)
any registration officer.
[5/2010 wef 11/02/2010]
Registration of persons arrested or convicted
14.
—(1)  The provisions of the Registration of Criminals Act [Cap. 268] relating to the taking of finger print impressions and photographs of persons under arrest and accused of any crime shall apply to persons arrested under this Act as if they were persons arrested for any crime within the meaning of that Act.
(2)  The Registration of Criminals Act shall apply to persons convicted of an offence under this Act as if the offence were a crime included in the First Schedule to that Act.
Attempt to commit offences and assisting offenders
15.
—(1)  Without prejudice to the operation of Chapters V and XXIII of the Penal Code [Cap. 224], any person who attempts to commit or does any act preparatory to the commission of an offence under this Act shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence under this Act.
(2)  No person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that another person is guilty of an offence under this Act shall give that other person any assistance with intent thereby to prevent, hinder or interfere with the apprehension, trial or punishment of that person for that offence.
Arrest and search
16.
—(1)  Where any person —
(a)
is reasonably suspected by a registration officer or police officer of the commission of any offence under this Act or any regulations made thereunder; or
(b)
on demand by a registration officer or a police officer —
(i)
does not give his name and address;
(ii)
gives a name or address which the officer has reason to believe is false; or
(iii)
gives as his address a place outside Singapore,
that person may be arrested without warrant by the registration officer or police officer.
[20/90]
(2)  Any police officer may without warrant and with or without assistance —
(a)
enter and search any premises;
(b)
stop and search any vessel, vehicle, train or individual, whether in a public place or not,
if he suspects that any evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act or any regulations made thereunder is likely to be found on the premises or individual or in the vessel, vehicle or train and may seize any evidence so found.
(3)  No woman shall be searched under this section except by a woman.
Report of certain persons admissible as evidence
17.
—(1)  Any document purporting to be a report under the hand of any of the persons mentioned in subsection (2) upon any matter or thing duly submitted to any such person for examination, analysis or report, may be used as evidence in any trial or other proceedings under this Act or any regulations made thereunder, unless the court requires that person to be called as a witness:
Provided that in any case in which the Public Prosecutor intends to give in evidence any such report, he shall deliver a copy thereof to the accused not less than 10 clear days before the commencement of the trial or other proceedings.
(2)  The following are persons to whom this section applies:
(a)
any officer or any person duly authorised to issue identity cards by virtue of any written law, including subsidiary legislation, in force in Malaysia; and
(b)
any police officer of Malaysia charged with the registration or collation of fingerprints.
Obligation to be in possession of travel document
18.  Nothing in this Act or any regulations made thereunder shall relieve any person of any obligation under any other written law to be in possession of a passport or any other travel document whatsoever.
Regulations
19.
—(1)  The Minister may make regulations for or in respect of any purpose which is considered by him necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act and for the prescribing of any matter which is authorised or required under this Act to be prescribed.
[11/74]
[20/90]
(2)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister may, by such regulations, provide for —
(a)
the manner in which and the places at which applications for registration or re-registration of persons under this Act shall be made;
(b)
the establishment of a central registry;
(c)
the nature of information and documents to be furnished for the purposes of registration or re-registration;
(d)
the taking and recording of photographs and finger impressions of persons required to be registered or re-registered under this Act;
(e)
the issue of identity cards and the particulars to be entered thereon and the different categories of identity cards that may be issued to such categories or classes of persons as may be prescribed;
(f)
the inspection of identity cards by persons in charge of hotels, boarding houses, hostels and such other classes or descriptions of persons as may be prescribed;
(g)
the replacement of identity cards which have been issued under this Act;
(h)
the re-registration of persons who have obtained identity cards or replacements thereof within any prescribed period;
(i)
the maximum charges that may be made for, and the conditions which may be imposed in respect of, the taking by any person of photographs for the purposes of this Act;
(j)
the temporary surrender of identity cards;
(k)
the custody and production of identity cards;
(l)
the times and places for the attendance before a registration officer of applicants and holders of identity cards;
(m)
the publication of information derived from the register;
(n)
the making of corrections to and alterations in the register and identity cards;
(o)
the absolute or conditional exemption of any person or category of persons from the provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder; and
(p)
the prescribing of fees and charges for the purposes of this Act.
(3)  Such regulations may —
(a)
prescribe that any act or omission in contravention of the provisions of any regulation shall be an offence;
(b)
provide for the imposition of penalties which shall not exceed a fine of $3,000 or imprisonment for a term of 2 years or both;
(c)
provide for the composition of offences which are prescribed therein by collecting from the person reasonably suspected of having committed the same a sum not exceeding $100.
(4)  The Minister may authorise the Commissioner to devise and use such forms as the Commissioner considers necessary for the purposes of this Act.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

National Registration Act
(CHAPTER 201)
This Legislative History is provided for the convenience of users of the National Registration Act. It is not part of the Act.
1.  
Act 11 of 1965—National Registration Act 1965
Date of First Reading
:
13 December 1965
(Bill No. 60/1965)
Date of Second and Third Readings
:
Dates not available.
Date of commencement
:
5 May 1966
2.  
1970 Revised Edition—National Registration Act (Chapter 45)
Date of operation
:
1 March 1971
3.  
Act 11 of 1974—National Registration (Amendment) Act 1974
Date of First Reading
:
4 March 1974
(Bill No. 4/1974 published on 6 March 1974)
Date of Second and Third Readings
:
27 March 1974
Date of commencement
:
24 May 1974
4.  
Date of operation
:
30 March 1987
5.  
Date of First Reading
:
30 August 1990
(Bill No. 20/1990 published on 31 August 1990)
Date of Second and Third Readings
:
4 October 1990
Date of commencement
:
3 June 1991
6.  
1992 Revised Edition—National Registration Act
Date of operation
:
9 March 1992
7.  
Date of First Reading
:
31 October 1994
(Bill No. 30/1994 published on 1 November 1994)
Date of Second and Third Readings
:
5 December 1994
Date of commencement
:
1 March 1995
8.  
(Consequential amendments made to Act by)
Date of First Reading
:
16 March 2001
(Bill No. 20/2001 published on 17 March 2001)
Date of Second and Third Readings
:
20 April 2001
Date of commencement
:
15 May 2001
9.  
(Consequential amendments made to Act by)
Date of First Reading
:
23 November 2009
(Bill No. 23/2009 published on 23 November 2009)
Date of Second and Third Readings
:
12 January 2010
Date of commencement
:
11 February 2010