Malaysian identity card

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Malaysian identity card
(Kad pengenalan Malaysia)
Press Release image of the new features that are included in the MyKad
Date first issued 2001
Issued by  Malaysia
Valid in  Malaysia

The Kad pengenalan Malaysia, commonly MyKad is the compulsory identity document for Malaysian citizens aged 12 and above. Introduced by the National Registration Department of Malaysia on 5 September 2001 as one of four MSC Malaysia flagship applications[1] and a replacement for the High Quality Identity Card (Kad Pengenalan Bermutu Tinggi), Malaysia became the first country in the world to use an identification card that incorporates both photo identification and fingerprint biometric data on an in-built computer chip embedded in a piece of plastic.[2]

Besides the main purpose of the card as a validation tool and proof of citizenship other than the birth certificate, MyKad may also serve as a valid driver's license, an ATM card, an electronic purse, and a public key, among other applications, as part of the Malaysian Government Multipurpose Card (GMPC) initiative, if the bearer chooses to activate the functions.

Other cards which are currently in use or soon to be introduced in the GMPC initiative and share similar features are:

  1. MyKid – for Malaysian citizens under the age of 12 including newborns (non-compulsory);[3]
  2. MyPR – for Malaysian Permanent Residents;[4]
  3. MyTentera – for Malaysian Armed Forces personnel;[5] and
  4. MyPolis – for Royal Malaysian Police personnel.[5]


The term MyKad is a compound of two words with ambiguous meanings; namely My and Kad.

My can be:

Kad can be:

  • the Malay word for card; or
  • the acronym for Kad Akuan Diri or Personal Identification Card;[6] or
  • the acronym for Kad Aplikasi Digital or Digital Application Card.[6]

Technical specifications[edit]

The initial MyKad was a contact card solution developed and manufactured by IRIS Corporation. Made of PC with the dimensions in the ISO/IEC 7816 ID-1 format (standard credit card format), the initial card had a 32kb EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) embedded chip running on M-COS (MyKad Chip Operating System). In November 2002, the capacity was increased to 64kb.

The upgraded and current version of the MyKad is a hybrid card containing two chips for both contact and contactless interfaces. Currently, this hybrid type MyKad is only issued in Malaysian states that employ the Touch 'n Go application.

The MyKad chip has a data retention up to 20 years, while the card itself has a lifespan of 10 years and has been tested according to the ISO 10373 standard.

Eligibility and adoption[edit]

All Malaysian citizens and permanent residents 12 years old or above are eligible for a MyKad. From 2001, it gradually replaced an older Malaysian Identity Card system, that had been in use since 1949 under British colonial rule, with the intention of becoming ubiquitous by 2007. Children are issued with a MyKid after birth. This card is "upgraded" to a MyKad on the 12th birthday. The MyKad must be replaced when a person reaches 18 years old, as it is a requirement that the photograph be "current".

Adoption was optional but was spurred by the waiving of the application fee of between RM20 and RM50 until 31 December 2005. As of 27 December 2005, 1,180,208 Malaysians still held an old identity card. After the waiving period ended on 31 December 2005, each new first-time application comes with a fee of RM10.

Structure of the National Registration Identity Card Number (NRIC)[edit]

The current format of the Malaysian identity card number, introduced in 1990, features 12 digits separated into three block by hyphens, as illustrated below:


The above format is the official format as printed on the official identity documents e.g. MyKad. However, for database purposes (e.g. sorting), the NRIC Number may have its hyphens omitted, hence:


The first six digits signify the person's date of birth in the ISO 8601:2000 format; for example, a person born on 16 September 1963, would have 630916 as the first six digits of their identity card. Second example, a person born on 1 January 1900 would have 000101 as the first digits same with a person born on 1 January 2000. However, this is not always the case as this is an unofficial feature. This allows the system to take into account cases where the holder is unable to prove his or her actual date of birth according to the Gregorian calendar due to lack of documentation, translation of calendars or simply not knowing. Unfortunately, general acceptance of this as the official date of birth has led to much confusion and error.

PB, the seventh and eighth digit, based on the place of birth of the person, which will be referred from the birth certificate upon application of the MyKad. Policemen and armed forces is assigned with the unique digit, 88 and 99 respectively throughout their term of service. After ending their term of service, they would gain the MyKad with the middle digits based on their place of birth.

###, the ninth through eleventh digit is the generic special number generated by the National Registration Department of Malaysia's computer system.

G, the 12th digit represents the gender of the person. The odd numbers for G denote male while the even numbers denote female, although this may not always be the case as well. In such rare cases, a simple clerical error may cause a male being issued an Identification Card number ending with an even number, and vice versa. However, this error can be rectified at the time of collection of the card, if the holder is aware what the numbers stand for. Otherwise, the cardholder may proceed to use the number issued by the NRD.

On the back of the card, there is an additional 2-digit number after the 12-digit number to indicate the number of MyKad which a person previously held.

Place of birth[edit]

Prior to 2001, originally, any person who born abroad used digit 71 or 72 in their identity card number (High Quality Identity Card), regardless with or without at least one parent with Malaysian citizenship. It is estimated that about 171,023 registered voters who born abroad and used digit 71 or 72 in MyKad. Majority of them born in Singapore before 1965, including Azmin Ali and Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

However, since 2001, any baby who born abroad after 2001 is referred according to their place of birth rather than general digit 71 or 72 in their MyKad. It also affected any person (including citizen or non-citizen) who born abroad regardless of their year of birth; who applying MyKad without holding High Quality Identity Card after 2001. Despite of that, if any person born abroad who already had High Quality Identity Card which means they registered their identity card before 2001, they still retain digit 71 or 72 to be used in their MyKad identity card number. NOTE-High Quality Identity Card was in use as the Malaysia's identity card from 1990 to 2001. After 2001, a person with High Quality Identity Card is expected to renew their High Quality Identity Card with new MyKad.

Applications on MyKad[edit]

The MyKad project was developed was originally intended to have four functions:

  • Identity card, including fingerprints and photo
  • Driving licence
  • Travel document in Malaysia and several neighbouring countries. However, a conventional passport is still required for international travel: the card is aimed at reducing congestion at the border by enabling the use of unmanned gates using biometric (fingerprint) identification.
  • Storage of health information

Current applications[edit]

Four further applications were added before or during its initial release,

At this time, most[specify] of the functions are still not widely used because they are not widely promoted[citation needed].

Future / proposed applications[edit]

The extensible design of the card may be leading to functionality creep.[citation needed] Further applications envisaged by the government include:

  • Frequent travellers' card
  • Merge with the Payment Multi-Purpose Card ('PMPC'), giving the MyKad credit and debit card functions that will pave the way for other financial uses

Personal identification[edit]

MyKad must be carried at all times. Failure to do so may incur a fine of between RM3,000 and RM20,000 or jail term of up to three years.

No unauthorised persons, including security guards, are allowed to retain the MyKads of other people. Only those authorised by the National Registration Department, like the police and immigration officers, can do so.

For Muslim citizens, "Islam" is printed on the card below the picture of the holder. This is to help the enforcement of Shariah law, which is applicable only to Muslims.

As the state of Sabah and Sarawak maintain separate immigration controls, citizens who have permanent residency in the state of Sabah and Sarawak are denoted by the letters "H" and "K" respectively on the bottom right corner of their card.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)[edit]

MyKad's Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) application allows for two digital certificates to be inserted. MyKad holders can apply and purchase the digital certificates from two of Malaysia's certification authority, Sdn. Bhd. and DigiCert Sdn. Bhd..

PKI allows for easy securing of private data over public telecommunications networks, thus allowing, secure electronic transactions over the Internet which include:

MyKad as a travel document[edit]

MyKad can be used as a travel document for citizens from Peninsular Malaysia to travel to Sabah and Sarawak for social and business visits not more than three months.

Frequent travellers between Malaysia and Brunei can use MyKad as a travel document.[9]

As Malaysia stopped issuing and renewing Restricted Passports for citizens from Peninsular Malaysia to travel to Singapore beginning 1 January 2006, Malaysia considered negotiating with Singapore to allow frequent Malaysian travellers to enter Singapore using MyKad. However, Singapore rejected the use of MyKad by frequent Malaysian travellers to enter the country, citing security concerns.


The MyID is a Malaysian Government initiative that implements the National Registration Identity Card Number as the sole reference number for Malaysians in their transactions as an individual with the government agencies.[10]

Other cards with similar MyKad features[edit]


MyKid is a chip-based children identity card or personal identification document issued to children under the age of 12. Introduced on 1 January 2003, MyKid contains features similar to MyKad except that it does not include a photograph and thumbprint biometric data. For registration of new birth, MyKid will be processed during the application for registration of birth. Children born before 2003 do not get a MyKid.

The term Kid refers to:

  • Slang for child in the English language; or
  • Acronym for Kad Identiti Diri or Personal Identification Card.

MyKid is issued in pink instead of blue (colour of MyKad). Visible data for MyKid in block letters include:

  • The heading Kad Pengenalan Kanak-kanak Malaysia
  • NRIC Numbers
  • Full name
  • Permanent address
  • Gender
  • Citizenship status
  • Parent's religion

The MyKid chip currently stores only three types of data:

  • Birth data e.g., information on birth parents
  • Health information e.g., immunisation records
  • Education information e.g., enrolment in schools

Benefits of MyKid:

  • Reduces use of paper forms when dealing with government or private agencies
  • Used in transactions with departments or agencies such as hospitals or clinics for medical examination, schooling, etc
  • Portable due to its small size
  • Contains security features to prevent abuse
  • Uses chip technology where information can be read on the card or in the chip. The information in the chip can also be updated easily.
  • Attractive design


MyPR is an identity card or personal identification issued to residents of Malaysia with permanent resident status. All residents of Malaysia with permanent resident status are required to change their identity card to MyPR with effect from 1 June 2006. The MyPR is red and visible data include:

  • The heading: Kad Pengenalan Malaysia Pemastautin Tetap (Malay: Malaysia Permanent Resident Identity Card)
  • Full name
  • NRIC number
  • Permanent address
  • Gender
  • Permanent residence status


MyKAS is a temporary resident identity card issued under Regulation 5 (3) of the National Registration Regulations 1990. It is green with expiry date indicated on the card.

MyKAS must be renewed within five years.


The MyTentera will replace the current BAT C 10 document (Malay: Borang Angkatan Tentera C 10) (Armed Forces Form C 10).

The MyTentera will be silver and feature the Malaysian Armed Forces logo at the back top-right corner. It will also contain a 12-digit military identification number similar to the NRIC Number.[5]


  1. ^ "MSC Malaysia Flagship Applications". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "One for All". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "MyKid". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "MyPR". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "MyTentera card for soldiers". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "MyKad: The Government Multipurpose Card". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Kod Negeri - Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  8. ^ "Kod Negara - Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  9. ^ Malaysia and Brunei to allow frequent travellers to use ICs
  10. ^ "MyID - One Number For All Transactions". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 

External links[edit]