The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), a type of government database that works under the Interior Secretary of Pakistan that is in-charge of the law and machinery of Pakistan.

It is an autonomous and independent agency that regulates government databases and statistically manages the databases of citizens of Pakistan. It works under utter secrecy and seclusion to protect the nation from any theft or intrusion in the information. It works independently and safeguards the data of the citizens of Pakistan. The responsibilities of this agency have been stated below.

  1. Responsible for issuing computerized national identity cards to the citizens of Pakistan.
  2. Maintaining and regulating the sensitive information of citizens upgraded in the databases of the government.
  3. Securing the national identities of the citizens of Pakistan from theft.
  4. It is one of the largest government database body that is flourishing at a commendable speed.
  5. It has about 18,000 employees working for it in more than 800 domestic offices and 5 international ones.
  6. Enact civil registration of all citizens of Pakistan.
  7. It was established on 10th March 2000.


The Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) is issued by NADRA to all Pakistani citizens. It was introduced in 2000 and is first issued at the age of 18. By 2012, more than 89.5 million CNIC’s had been issued.

Under Pakistani law, every citizen doesn’t need to have a CNIC issued. However, one needs a CNIC for the following purposes:

  1. Voting
  2. Obtaining a passport
  3. Obtaining a mobile phone SIM card.
  4. Conducting major financial transactions in Pakistan
  5. Purchasing a plane and train ticket
  6. Acquiring electricity, gas, and water
  7. Setting up a business in Pakistan
  8. Obtaining a driver’s license

Basically, CNIC is essential for Pakistani citizens to live a meaningful civic life.


SNIC refers to Smart National Identity Card; It is Pakistan’s first electronic identity card. It contains a data chip and 36 security features. It can be used for both offline and online identification and complies with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. It can be used for:

  1. Voting
  2. Pension disbursement
  3. Social and financial inclusion programs and schemes.
  4. Identification of citizens


  1. The unique tracking ID consisting of 12 digits is sent to 8400.
  2. The message regarding tracking the card is sent to 8400.
  3. You will get the message, “ your request against tracking ID with printing facility and expected delivery 2 working days.”


NADRA had been established after the 1971 war, where Bangladesh gained independence, and a statistical system was needed for the identification of Pakistanis. NICOP refers to National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis. It is issued to eligible citizens of Pakistan who may live or have reference abroad.

NADRA has introduced its online services for applications like NICOP using data collected online – fingerprints, thumb impressions, and signatures. You can visit to avail of the services offered by NADRA.