Is NADRA Intentionally Confusing the Nation or Is It Just the Incompetence?

NADRA is often referred to as one of the most technically advanced departments amongst all government authorities in Pakistan. It is responsible for the data of all Pakistanis whether they live home or abroad.

However, for an authority in charge of such a vast amount of personal information and touting to offer the best technical solutions for the public, NADRA is sorely lacking when it comes to administration. NADRA has already been criticized for employing improper security protocols for public data.

However, today we will talk about how NADRA’s own websites are confusing the whole nation.

Conflicting Information for the Public

For an online and connected department, NADRA seems to have too much conflicting information. We heard last year that normal CNICs were being phased out while Smart NIC cards were going to cost less and become the standard.

Take a look at a couple of screenshots from NADRA own website:

Non-Smart CNIC

The public was told a few months ago that normal CNIC cards will be replaced by Smart NIC cards. Take a look at the first image and you’ll see fees for vanilla CNIC’s new application, modification, duplication and renewal offered using Normal, Urgent and Executive service options.

This information is either outdated or the media was misinformed by Chaudhary Nisar himself.

Take a look at the second image and you will see fees for normal CNIC reprint/duplication. When the card has already been phased out, why is there an option to reprint it?

It is difficult to understand how the above mentioned information could be outdated, since the fees for Smart NIC have been updated to what Chaudhary Nisar informed a few months ago. Miscommunication among the administration? Probably.

Smart NIC Fees

Next up, take a look at the Smart NIC fees for card modification, duplication and renewal. Both sections of the same website mention different fees. Where one says that the fee starts from Rs. 400 for Normal service, Rs. 800 for Urgent service and Rs. 1,600 for Executive service, the other says that you have to pay Rs. 1,500 for the same service when applying online.

We would like to mention here that when you apply online, you can only opt for Executive service (more on that later). NADRA assumes you know about it when you look at the fee chart (second screenshot).

NIC Cancellation

The conflicting fees for CNIC or Smart NIC cancellation make no sense at all. Where one fee chart says it costs you just Rs. 50, the other mentions and astonishing and unbelievable Rs. 15,750.

It is as if they don’t want people to cancel their cards if they are no longer applicable. The contrasting fees make no sense. Why would anyone be willing to pay over Rs. 15,000 just to have their card canceled?

Secondly, who is responsible for the conflicting information and why has nobody noticed the day and night difference between the two?

Strange Online Application Choices

Throughout the world, online services are launched to reduce costs and rush at physical business centers. To do that, online services are promoted.

NADRA, however, is doing the opposite. There are no options to choose anything other than Executive service, so everyone ends up paying higher than the standard rate (Rs. 1,500 instead of Rs. 400) even though its costs less to use online services.

You also don’t get to apply for a new NIC online. Had this option been offered, it could have encouraged people to apply for NICs and keep their info updated.

Similar Conflicting Info for NICOP

Just like the CNIC and SNIC, NICOP and SNICOP seem to have the same conflicting information. NICOP is required by Pakistanis residing overseas. They have limited options to get information and such conflicting information could confuse them.

We won’t be repeating the same words again as the screenshots below speaks for themselves:

Payment Options

While we are at it, it is worth mentioning that NADRA’s online service doesn’t seem to be targeted towards everyone. It is as if the management wants people to come to the offices.

The online service does not offer any payment options other credit cards or online activated debit cards (limited options in Pakistan). With millions of people going for branchless banking and easy mobile payments, perhaps support for such services would be a lot more helpful.

We suggest that NADRA, being a government authority, should introduce as many payment options as possible for the ease of the general public.

Final Words

By criticizing and finding such discrepancies in NADRA’s system, we want the authority to fix these issues and make the system better and easier for the general public. It would benefit everyone if the authority fixes these fee charts (we have no idea which one is correct), allows more options, introduces online new applications process and brings more payment options.

As always, we want our readers to share the news so that NADRA’s administration takes notice of these issues.

Links to above mentioned fee tables: NADRA 1, NADRA 2

He is the Editor-in-Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]

  • “Why would anyone be willing to pay over Rs. 15,000 just to have their card canceled?”
    Some countries don’t let you keep dual nationality, so if one decide to cancel Pakistani nationality they will be willing to pay that amount.

  • Last week, I submitted the application for Smart card with little modification through online portal and they charged me with 1600pkr.
    Now card has been sent for printing as per message received by NADRA.

    They should lower the price as the customer handles all by himself.

    • That’s been the trend lately here, good opportunity for some other Pakistani blogging team to step up. All I have been reading here are shill paid articles, reaching conspiracy theories and click bait.

  • Agreed, not many people know that Nadra’s Executive Centers only offer Smart Cards for Rs. 1600, which you can get for Rs. 100 or 200 at regular Nadra Center. Plus for CNIC, once you get Smart Card, you cannot revert back to regular and in future, you have to pay more for Smart Card. Nadra is money making mint for GOP.

  • In nadra online passport system, they charge extra 2900 for applying online except of fee, now who will try to apply online passport except of someone!!!! And same thing they are doing with online id card system!!! Still system is new they should encourage people by giving offers on online system to reduce rush on nadra centers but who cares, Rich peoples will easily pay online fee because they can afford and poor peoples will abjects at nadra centers due to rush and abusive language of bad nadra staff. I don’t understand logic of nadra!!! It seems online system of nadra is only for rich peoples not for poors or middle class peoples.

  • NADRA is most confusing system, as I have applied for my smart card online and everything was done sucessfully now 07th Month I have not gte my id card upon sending them mails they are just playing ping pong and no action from them.

      • I got cards of my family 4 cards within 15 days and 2 for my servants after 60 days and yet waiting for a last 1 to get.

    • 7 months will only occur if your record has been marked suspected. Please let me know your tracking ID and I will take a look.

      • It was printed with a mistake and submitted again to be rectified but there is response. Tracking ID is 770000222903.

        • If this tracking ID you mentioned above is correct, this card has been dispatched in June 2016. Are you sure you have given me the correct tracking ID?

          • Yes you are right as I have told you earlier the card has been dispatched and received in June 2016 with mistakes and has been pleed to the office M. Aqeel ([email protected]) almost 100 times over e-mail and there is no reply.

            • NADRA local office did not entertain my application when I have got a card with mistake as they have said card has been applied online so the local office cannot help in any case. That is why it has been contacted with the guys over helpline as address given to you earlier and I am in touch with them even yesterday they have asked me for the documents to sent back to them to investigate. 07th month there is no solid solution given by the team NADRA.

  • Thank you very much for taking the time and looking at the NADRA site from a critical eye. The fees mentioned for normal CNIC etc are indeed outdated since NRCs only issue smart CNICs now. Those will be removed shortly. As for the fees for modification and reprint etc, the fees of Rs 400, Rs 800 and Rs 1600 is when applicant apply in an NRC. For online, it is Rs 1500. The cancellation fees is Rs 15750. The Rs 50 is cancellation due to death. We will mention that in the fees column as well. Rest I think there is no discrepancy. As far as payment option is concerned, we accept credit card as well as E-Sahulat (within Pakistan). For overseas Pakistanis only credit card is acceptable. We will explore further payment options in future as well Thanks

    • Sir you said normal card fee is 400 but yesterday i made new id card they charge me 800 and they said it will take 20, 22 days so how they charge 800?
      2nd my mother card is expired how much it will cost to make it new

        • Yasir, it depends on where you apply and the category you apply in. The executive NRCs only process smart cards in executive category that is why they are going to charge Rs 1600 for renewal. If you go to a non executive NRC and apply in a normal category, the renewal is going to cost Rs 400. A non executive NRC is going to charge Rs 800 for renewal if applied in executive category. Hope that would help clearing the confusion you have. Thanks

  • Nadra verification department is working like snail movement, in 2011 my wife’s card was blocked due to on base of suspicious. And we asked by the Nadra employee from verification department that we need to provide them any official document before the 1974, now my father in law’s card issued in 1980. And we have not any other document except my wife’s grandfather CNIC, and our property inherit from our Ancestors (Serial Number) as well as we have provided CNIC copies of other family members from wife’s grandfather and his brother’s family too. But still card is blocked, when first time we went there and told them we have provided all alternate proves so. Why it is not unlocking clerk smiled and said, “This is not an easy job, you will get this card when your and your wife’s hair will be white, or maybe you get this card along with your children’s card” and I remember his smile.

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