The Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise to get a Permanent Voters Card (PVC) was paused months to the 2019 general elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has resumed PVC registration since June 2021. The registration will continue this year until September 2022, barely four (4) months before the 2023 general elections.
As of July 2021, Nigeria had over 84 million registered voters, with INEC targeting the registration of at least 20 million new voters.
As a Nigerian, the PVC is your ticket to vote in the incoming elections of 2023. If you do not have one, we suggest getting yours soon before the exercise is paused again.
Firstly, you may be wondering if you are eligible to register for the PVC or not; the criteria for getting one are the following:
- Nigerian citizens who are 18 or older without a voter’s card.
- Registered voters wishing to change their polling stations.
- Registered voters wishing to review or update their voting card information.
- Registered voters who have not collected their PVCs.
- Registered voters who want to replace their damaged or stolen PVCs.
How to check your Permanent Voter’s Card registration status
If you have previously registered for your PVC, you can learn how to check your PVC status here.
The registration process for PVC is in stages.
1. Pre-register online
You can pre-register for your Permanent Voter’s Card online portal here. Take note that after pre-registering online, you still have to go down to the physical centre to capture your biometrics. After applying online, make sure your document is saved. Print or screenshot your application slip and take it along when you visit the biometric centre on the scheduled date for fingerprint capture.
Therefore use the locator application to find registration centres nearby. At least by registering online, you can be guaranteed that you have sped up the process instead of waiting with the crowd.
2. Visit the INEC registration centre in your LGA
You can register online or go to a physical registration centre at any INEC state or LGA centre around you. It is best to choose a centre that is nearest to you. Find a list of all registration area centres across the country here. Also, you can search for the polling unit closest to you for the D-day of the election here.
3. Present proof of identity with your biometric information captured by the INEC officials
Proof of identity can be your Birth Certificate, National Passport, Identity Card or Driver’s License. Once your identity and age have been confirmed, an official will collect your information with a Direct Data Capture Device. Your photograph and thumbprint will be taken and stored in the INEC database.
4. You will be issued a Temporary Voters Card
The Temporary Voters Card is proof that you completed the registration process. Please keep it safe after the registration process because you will need it to obtain the Permanent Voters Card for voting.
5. INEC officials will contact you when your Permanent Voters Card is ready
You will be informed by the officials when to return to the centre to collect the PVC. This will be when you are required to present your Temporary Voters Card.
How to update the details on an existing PVC
Before you can update your PVC — replacing if defaced, transferring to another polling unit, or correcting the information on your voter’s card — you’ll be expected to review your voter record by adding the information that wasn’t on it the last time you registered. For example, if you didn’t have a National Identification Number (NIN) when you registered, now that I have it, it is necessary to update your details on INEC’s record.
To update your voter’s card information, click on ‘Review Information’ on the online registration portal here.
How to Change Polling Unit
It is possible to transfer your existing registration to a new location. To do this, you will first have to go to the nearest registration centre; they are located here. Follow the steps below to change your voting location to another polling unit:
- Apply to INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner of the state where you are currently residing through your Electoral Officer (EO). You’ll also be given a form to fill at the centre.
- Attach a photocopy of your Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to the application and submit it at the centre closest to you
- If satisfied that you are currently resident in the area, the Resident Electoral Commissioner shall approve the application and direct that your details be transferred to your new location. Note: You must apply well before 60 days to the election. INEC may require evidence such as a Utility Bill for confirmation of your residency.
- You’ll pick up your new PVC at the centre you made the transfer application.
- You’ll be assigned to the nearest polling unit of your residence.
- You’d be issued with a new Permanent Voter’s Card at the registration centre where you’ll submit your application or at any other designated centre by the Commission and the previous one will be retrieved.
Please click on the link to get more information here.
How to request a new PVC
Misplaced or damaged PVCs can be replaced by clicking on the ‘Request a New Card‘ here.
Log in to the portal and fill in the information to retrieve your voter registration record. Follow the instructions, review the information and submit your application request for a replacement.
After completing the final step in any scenario, you can automatically track your registration status online and wait until you are notified that your PVC is ready to be picked up at the designated area.
INEC has made PVC registration easy, and it is more than we hoped for. Don’t take this chance for granted. If you don’t currently own a Permanent Voters Card, get one now. Your PVC assures you the right to vote, and as you vote, your voice is heard. As a Nigerian, you have a civic responsibility, do it. You have a right to vote; use it. Just make sure you seal your fates to the right leader in 2023…because there is no going back. See you then.