An identification document is a document that may be used to prove identity. In Iraq, there are 6 key identification documents that each citizen is should have:

  1. Civil status ID or the Unified National Card
  2. Nationality certificate
  3. Residence card
  4. Ration card
  5. Passport
  6. The Biometric Voter Card (as of 12 January 2021)

Apart from proving the identity of a person, these documents can also be used to:

  • Prove personal information including marital status, number of family members, date and place of birth, current residence etc.
  • Access basic services like healthcare and education
  • Claim legal rights and initiate legal proceedings.
  • Access important documentation like house deeds or rental contracts
  • Travel from one governorate to another and through checkpoints

It is a good idea to have some color copies of your and your family’s important documents in case the originals get lost.

What are these documents?

  1. Civil Status ID - “National ID”

According to the Iraqi Nationality Law, every Iraqi citizen has a right to hold a Civil Status ID, also known as the National ID. I It is granted to persons who has either an Iraqi father or mother and is an important document needed for most official dealings.



  1. Visit to the Personal Status Department in your area or where your family is registered and fill out the ID application form.
  2. Attach the following documents: residence card, residence support letter, ID photocopies (x2)
  3. The identity card can be processed in one day if the application is complete and has all the required supporting documents attached.

These steps are the same for requesting a new renewal, lost or damaged replacement Civil Status ID applications.

For Children

To obtain a Civil Status ID for children, complete the above steps and once you have submitted the application, the Civil Status Directorate will request the birth certificate from the Birth Office/Hospital through the official mail.

How to transfer the civil status file of the newly married person to the spouse’s department:

After marriage, the two spouses need to change their marital status in the civil status ID to “married” instead of “single”, by opening new civil status file for the married couple in one of the Civil Status Department. For example, “Ahmed” has a file in the civil status department of Kirkuk and has just married “Marwa” who has a file in Civil Status Department of Baghdad, they will need to open a new civil status file either in Baghdad or Kirkuk). In Iraqi Law, the wife is normally transferred to her husband’s Civil Status File, however, if they wanted to open a new file in a different department as a new family, they would have to add the information of each spouse to the other’s civil status file and provide their marriage certificate. Then create a new file in the department of the governorate of their residence.

Steps required in case of transferring the wife’s Civil Status File to her husband’s Civil Status Department:

  1. Visit to the Civil Status Department where the husband or wife is registered.
  2. Complete an application to transfer the wife to the husband’s Civil Status Department addressed to the husband’s Civil Status directorate and attach the supporting documents:
  3. Photos of the wife (x4).
  4. Civil status IDs for both spouses (original and photocopy)
  5. Iraqi nationality certificate for both spouses (original and photocopy)
  6. Residence card for both spouses (original and photocopy)
  7. A letter of non-objection from the wife's Civil Status Directorate.
  8. When the application is submitted, the official marriage contract or a certified copy of it, or the proof of attestation of an external marriage, should be sent by official mail from the court to the Civil Status Directorate of the husband, "some cases may take several months."
  9. The husband fills out a form requesting the wife’s transfer to his registry. He submits the form to the wife’s Civil Status Department and then returns it to his department requesting that the wife be added to his record and a new civil status ID will be issued for her.
  10. After submitting the documents above and the request is processed, the wife is added to her husband’s record and new civil status IDs are issued.

Unification of marital registration:

If a spouse lives in a certain area and has a Residence Card for that area but is registered in the Civil Status Directorate in another governorate, then they are entitled to transfer their civil registration from the governorate in which they are registered to the governorate in which they own a Residence Card. Steps required:

  1. Visit to the Civil Status Directorate according to the husband or wife’s residence card, or the Civil Status Directorate wherever the wife or husband is registered.
  2. Complete a request for unification of marital registration with the required documents:
  3. Photos of the person (x4).
  4. Civil status IDs for both spouses (original and photocopy)
  5. Iraqi nationality certificate for both spouses (original and photocopy)
  6. Residence card for both spouses (original and photocopy)
  7. A letter of non-objection from the person’s Civil Status Directorate.
  8. The director of the department must then approve the request, the spouses are then provided with a letter of acceptance to transfer their civil record to the new directorate, then the applicants Submit the files to the Civil Status Directorate.
  9. New civil status IDs should be issued within a period of time estimated in 4 days. (The period of sending the marriage contract to the court by official mail is excluded from the period of this process).

Unified National Card “The new National Card”

The national card is accepted by governmental and non-governmental agencies to prove the identity of its owner and identifying their Iraqi nationality. It is an alternative to the Iraqi Nationality Certificate, civil status card and the Residence Card. The Unified National Card Law was enacted in order to unify the Iraqi nationality certificate, the ID card, and the Residence Card form in one document, within a one integrated network of civil information.


Procedures for obtaining a unified national card:

  1. Book an appointment via the online reservation.
  2. Fill out the application form electronically.
  3. Go to the unified National Card department and check the online reservation.
  4. Checking the nationality certificate.
  5. Obtaining the station number for entering and checking the data.
  6. Pay the fees at the Accounts Division and receive a receipt.
  7. A permit and an appointment to receive the national card


Iraqi Nationality Certificate

The Iraqi Nationality Certificate is a document proving the nationality of the Iraqi citizen and is considered as a formal document in governmental and non-governmental institutions. It is granted under the Iraqi Nationality Law (No. 26 of 2006) by the Travel and Nationality Directorates of the Ministry of Interior.


Requirements to obtain it:

  1. Visit the Nationality Department in person (it is not acceptable for agency or representation to visit the nationality departments, and this includes even newborns.
  2. Complete application form to obtain the Iraqi Nationality Certificate.
  3. Attach the supporting documents:
  4. Father’s Nationality Certificate (in the event that the father's nationality certificate is not present or damaged, the person must bring the Nationality Certificate of the brother, mother, grandfather, or uncle)
  5. Residence card
  6. Two recent photos of the citizen

Nationality Departments in Baghdad:

  • Iraqi Nationality Certificate Department / Baghdad / Rusafa / General Department - Karada, near the shrine of Sayed Idris
  • Iraqi Nationality Certificate Department / Baghdad / Rusafa / Al-Waziriya - Al-Maghrib Street
  • Iraqi Nationality Certificate Department / Baghdad / Rusafa / Sadr City
  • Iraqi Nationality Certificate Department / Baghdad / Al-Karkh / Al-Mansour
  • Iraqi Nationality Certificate Department / Baghdad / Al-Karkh / Mahmoudiya

As for the governorates, the relevant department is the nationality certificate department in the governorate itself, and the above departments are visited according to the beneficiary's residence card. There are special cases that require a person to travel between governorates, such as those of some returnees whose Iraqi nationality has been revoked, or people who do not have identification papers proving their Iraqi identity, which require travel to Baghdad to obtain the required identification papers from the General Directorate in Baghdad and located on Rasheed Street. Iraqi nationality is granted to a child born to an Iraqi mother just as it is granted to a child born to an Iraqi father, according to (Article Three of the Nationality Law No. 26 of 2006).

  1. Ration Card

The Ration card is an official document issued by the Ministry of Trade. The purpose of the card is to allow citizens to obtain a monthly food supply which is distributed through supply agents in the governorates.

Every family has the right to obtain a ration card and obtain foodstuffs for a certain amount of money determined by the Ministry of Trade. The ration card bears the name of the family breadwinner, the address, the number of family members and the name of the distribution agent in general, and the agent for distributing flour in particular.

How to obtain a Ration Card:

  1. Visit the Supply Center within the geographical area.
  2. Complete an application form and attach:
  3. Civil Status ID for all family members (original and copy)
  4. Residence card or Municipal council housing or support letter for all family members

Obtaining a Ration Card is free of charge.

The time period for completing the process, whether in Baghdad or the rest of the governorates of Iraq, is one month from the date of submitting the application.

How to add children to a Ration Card:

Complete a form for adding children to the Ration Card from the Food Centre and attach the following documents:

  1. The child's Civil Status ID (original and photocopy)
  2. The Ration Card for the family (original and photocopy)

If the child is over one year old, an official letter from the Supply Centre must be shown with the child’s Civil Status ID.

Withholding the Ration Card

The ration card is withheld from the family by the Ministry of Trade in Baghdad – the Central Computer Department, if the supply center does not receive it within the time specified by the Ministry of Trade, which is usually in the first months of the beginning of each new year.

To lift the withholding, the following documents must be submitted:

  1. The original (old) Ration Card or a copy of it.
  2. Civil Status IDs for all family members whose names are on the card (original and photocopy)
  3. Support letter from the Municipal Council.
  4. A form for removing the block (it can be obtained from offices near the supply centers)
  5. The head of the family is then provided with a letter from the Supply Center to lift the block, and it is submitted to the main office of the Ministry of Trade.
  6. The Ministry of Trade then provides a report that includes the card information and approval to lift the block, to be delivered to the Supply Center.
  7. The Supply Center provides the head of the family with a replacement voucher for the card, and after two months they receive the ration card.

Separating the Ration Card

Separating the Ration Card is a process of splitting the names of the Ration Card because of the marriage of a family member or because of custody or divorce.

Required documents:

  1. A ration card separation form (can be obtained at a price of 2000 dinars from offices in the Supply branch).
  2. Civil status IDs of the individuals who want to be released (original and photocopy)
  3. A copy of the ration card for the family from which the head of the family wishes to separate.
  4. Residence support letter from the Municipal Council
  5. A certified copy of the marriage contract or decision, or the divorce or custody decision.

The relevant departments:

  1. Supply centers where the family is registered.
  2. Ministry of Trade – Data Department
  3. Baghdad - Rusafa - Karrada near the Al-Mishn complex (to issue the card).
  1. Residence Card

The Residence Card is an official document which determines the place of residence of a family and includes details related to the ID of the head of the family. Steps to get a residence card:


The required documents to issue a residence card:

  1. Visit your local Information Office and complete a Residence Card application
  2. Attach the required supporting documents to the application including:
  3. a)A support letter from the Mukhtar addressed to the Central Information Office in the event of a new residence card request, or to the Residence Area Information Office in the case of renewing the old residence card.
  4. b)Family ration card (original and photocopy).
  5. c)Family Civil Status IDs (original and photocopy).
  6. d)Iraqi Nationality Certificates for the family (original and copy).
  7. You should receive your Residence Card within a period of two days.

Housing Endorsement/Residence Support Letter

Housing Endorsement, also known as a Residence Support Letter, is accepted as an authorized document alongside the other official documents as it as it is issued by the local lead Mukhtar of the neighborhood and then requires the approval of the Mayor’s Office or the (formerly) Municipal Council. The Housing Endorsement indicates a proof of residence for the person whose is named as the primary occupant of a specified property.

Steps to get a Housing Endorsement:

  1. Obtain two witness statements verifying the resident of the property.
  2. Visit the local Mukhtar and obtain a signature and stamp of the witness statements”.
  3. Signature of the applicant
  4. Iraqi Passport

The Iraqi passport is an official document issued by the government to verify the identity and nationality of an individual for the purpose of traveling across international borders. It provides information about the holder, including name, place and date of birth, photograph, signature, and other relevant identifying information.


How to get an Iraqi Passport:

  1. Pay the application legal fees (25,000 Iraqi dinars) and obtain a certified receipt from any bank approved by the Central Bank of Iraq. (Note: approximate total fees with banks fees and photocopies could reach 50,000-55,000 IQD)

Note: choose your bank wisely as some banks may take fees that is higher than the other)

  1. Visit the Passport Department in your governorate and fill out the application form for obtaining a new passport.
  2. Attach the supporting documents to the application including:
  3. a)The original documents (not to be submitted but have to be available through the whole procedure) and color copies to be submitted of: * Civil Status ID or the Unified National Card, * Iraqi Nationality Certificate, * Residence Card and * Ration Card.
  4. b)Passport size photos (with white background)
  5. c)Passport fee receipt
  6. The Passport Department staff should then take your fingerprints (biometric information)
  7. Obtain a date for receiving the passport.

Extra documents for minors aged 10-17 years: Complete the passport application form (original) and attach the following:

  1. A The national card for the minor (original and photocopy).
  2. Civil status ID and nationality certificate for the minor (original and photocopy).
  3. The residence card of the minor's father (original and photocopy).
  4. The national card of the minor's father (original and photocopy).
  5. The civil status ID and the nationality certificate of the minor's father (original and photocopy).
  6. A personal photo "passport size".
  7. Passport fee receipt

Extra documents for children aged under 10 years:

Complete the passport application form (original) and attach the following:

  1. The child's civil status ID (original and photocopy).
  2. The residence card of the child's father (original and photocopy).
  3. The national card of the child's father (original and photocopy).
  4. Civil status ID and nationality certificate of the child's father (original and photocopy).
  5. A personal photo of the child.
  6. Passport fee receipt

To renew a passport – follow the above steps and add the expired passport (original and photocopy documents) to the application.

  1. The Long-Term Biometric Voter Card

As of 12 January 2021, the Council of Ministers announced that the long-term biometric voter card can now be considered as an official ID document. It was decided to grant employees a period of "60" days to update their biometric data. This resolution will be implemented as of 1 February 2021. All citizens aged 18 and above, should have the biometric voter card.


The steps required to obtain or update the biometric voter card:

  1. Check that you have the required documents (electronic voter card, Iraqi nationality certificate, civil status ID or unified national card, passport, ration card, residence card, identity, or document proving displacement for "displaced persons").
  2. Fill out the paper biometric registration form at the Center for the Independent High Electoral Commission, that will include the following:
  3. The name of the district or sub-district.
  4. The commission staff determine the name and number of the polling center according to the citizen residency or the old voter card if available.
  5. Sign the form after it is complete.
  6. The commission staff will Enter the data electronically to complete the registration process.
  7. Taking the voter's vital data, " ten fingerprints and personal photo" at the center of the election commission by the staff.
  8. Confirm the accuracy of the data before saving electronically.
  9. The voter receives the receipt supporting the electronic recording of the applicant data and the new long-term biometric card.


If you have any further questions or need more information you couldn't find in the article, you can directly contact the Simaet Bhatha team from Sunday to Thursday, 9:00am to 4:00pm, through the following platforms:

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