Do unique identity cards like voter ID cards, expire in India? Do they also have expiry dates such as in credit cards, etc.?
Voter ID expiry – what this means?
Voter ID cards are unique identity cards that are issued by the government, to citizen above age of 18 years. The purpose of this card is to serve as an identity of an eligible voter to enable him/her to vote for various political parties and bring them to power. All the citizens are expected to exercise their rights and cast their votes. The voter ID card, also called as Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) is a plastic card, of white and black color having name, date of birth and the address of the holder. Expiry of voter ID means, the mention of a particular date/ month on the card, after which you wont be able to use that card. This is how your voter ID will look like.
As you can see, neither in the front nor at the back, this card, that is Voter ID card, holds any expiry date column, nor any mention of expiry date.
Hence, these ID cards are permanent in their existence and do not have any expiry date as such. Hence voter ID cards, once issued, survive till the death of the holder. Although voter ID cards do not expire with time, but if you have a change of address or correction in the name etc, then they may need changes accordingly.
What if Voter ID expires?
If in case, anyone tells you that your voter ID card has expired it is actually not true. It can however, have mistakes or errors in it as follows:
There can be misprints in Voter ID:-
Government everyday issues thousands of voter ID cards, so as to enable the large population of the country, in voting. Hence due to lots of prints, government may end up misprinting some information in some of the cards.
Change of address of the voter ID card holder:-
There may be some changes in address, which might not have been reported to the government. In such cases, voter ID for that particular area expires and hence new voter ID needs to be issued.
Name not in the voter list:-
Voter list is the record with the government of all the eligible voters of that particular locality. When your name is not in the voter list, of a locality, you are not eligible to vote for the elections happening in that locality. This may happen because; there might have been a change of your address, which went unreported. To check under which locality you are eligible to vote or to find your name in the voter list, click here. In such cases, you just need to approach the nearby corporation or Taluka office, and tell them about your address change through form number 8.This is how form 8 looks like:-
The concerned authorities will take actions accordingly and notify you as to from which area you are eligible to vote.
How to rectify the mistakes of Voter ID?
In case, you have a strong doubt with regards to voter ID and want to refer some reliable and authoritative information then here’s what you can do:
1. Go to the nearby corporation office, if you are staying in corporation area.
2. Go to nearby Taluka office if you are staying in municipal or Panchayat area.
There may be instances where some unintended errors in Voter ID which may have crept in. In such a case, you need to fill up the Form Number 8, available here. http://eci.nic.in/eci_main/forms/FORM8.pdf
Download the form, fill it up, mention all the required details as to old and the new/changed details and approach the nearby corporation or Taluka office.
Voter ID cards are unique to you. Although banks don’t consider voter ID as primary evidence of identity, yet, voter ID do serve as a tool for identity. Once the government has issued it to you, you must take proper care of it, as you would have, of any other ID like passport or PAN card. Not only this, voter ID cards are not merely to be kept in wallets and updated with address from time to time, rather, they must be used to cast the votes. Casting votes is the main purpose of issuing the Voter ID cards, so if you do not exercise your right to vote… having it or not, is same.