A policeman called me and asked me to go to the police station this morning. The reason is, someone in Guangxi Province sent a post mail to them and claiming that someone there has the same national ID number as mine.
National ID Number
People in China are numbered – there is a unique ID assigned to everybody. I got mine when I was 18 years old, just before I came to Shanghai, and Yifan got his several days after his birth. It is the number printed on the Naitonal ID card. Obviously, it is an important number.
The number is pretty long – 18 digits, and you’d better keep it secret, since the information reveals your location to get the number, the date you were born, and your gender.
The Formation of the Number
This is the format of the number:
AABBCC is the area code of the location where you got your ID.
YYYYMMDD is the birth date, like 19700302
SSG is a serial number – just in case there are more than one person born in the same area on the same date, the police station is responsible to issue different numbers to different people. The 17th digit is gender digits – odd numbers are assigned to male, and even numbers are assigned to female.
X, the last number is check sum – that computer can check to see the previous numbers are correct.
Someone has Exactly the Same Number As Me
From the record, I found someone in Guangxi has exactly the same National ID number as me.
That means, this guy is also male, born on the same day as me, and lived in the same neigborhood as I did.
AND, the policeman there made a big mistake by giving the same serial number to us.
According to the police, this happens all the time, since the ID was issued before computer was widely used, and they are putting big effort to correct the mistakes. That is the reason they call me.
Finally, it turned out that I need to write a statement, claiming that I have already gotten the notification, and I don’t want to change my national ID number, and signed the letter. That’s it.
“What’s next?” I asked?
“I will send all the documents along with your statement back to the police station where the mail came from.” The policeman answered.
“Then the policeman will talk to the other guy to see if he is willing to change his national ID number.” He said.
“What if he don’t want to change either?” This is an obvious question I need to ask.
“Then, the policeman in Guangxi will send a mail to me again.” Said the policeman before me.
“Then what?” I became a little bit impatient.
“Then I will give you a call again. BTW, could you please leave your mobile phone with me?” He answered.
“Then what’s next?” I asked?
“Let’s talk about it when it happens” was the answer.
So, I left the police station – it ruined my beautiful Sunday afternoon. Knowing someone in this country has exactly the same national ID as me is a strange feeling – and to change it is just a nightmare for me – I even don’t remember how many systems, especially those in banks, and on my driver’s license, record my current ID number.
Good luck to me and the other unlucky guy.