UAE residents without ID cards risk daily fines

Ruling that outlines daily penalties for residents without ID cards comes into play Sunday, Sept 4
UAE residents without ID cards risk daily fines
Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) has faced an uphill struggle in convincing UAE residents to sign up for the identification cards
By Elizabeth Broomhall
Mon 29 Aug 2011 10:20 AM

Expatriates and Emiratis in the UAE could face fines of AED20 for each day they fail to possess an Emirates ID card under a new decree that comes into effect Sunday, Sept 4.

UAE residents could be charged up to AED1,000 under the daily penalty outlined in Cabinet decision No.25 for 2011, issued on July 5, that aims to persuade residents to sign up for the mandatory identification cards.

The ruling also lays out daily fines for residents that fail to renew their ID cards within 30 days of the expiry date, or to update key data within a 30-day period.

In a statement to Arabian Business, the Emirates ID Authority (Eida) said the decision would be effective 60 days from date of issue on July 5.

“[Eida] has announced that it is currently working on an implementation plan,” the agency said.

Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) has faced an uphill struggle in convincing UAE residents to sign up for their mandatory identification cards, despite a series of deadlines.

Each card contains the holder’s address, photo, date of birth and fingerprints and can be used as an official source of identification in the UAE. The cost for a five-year card is AED100 for Emirates, while expatriates pay AED100 for each year the card is valid.

Eida said in December that UAE nationals had until June 30 to sign up for the identification card. No deadline was specified for expat residents.

In July, Dubai ruled that workers in any of Tecom’s eleven free zones would need to register for an ID card before applying to renew to secure their visa.

Expatriates and Emiratis in the tax-free business parks were told they must register for the identification card before completing the medical tests needed for visa applications.

Eida has long planned to tie the scheme to the compulsory medical test that residents are obliged to take when their residency visas are renewed.

It is likely the UAE government will increasingly require expatriates to present ID cards when dealing with federal agencies, in a bid to pressure residents into signing up for the scheme,

Browyn Colgan, a senior associate at Clyde and Co, said in July.

“It is our understanding that the Eida will put no final deadline in place [for expatriates to have ID cards] and there is no plan to issue fines to expatriates who don’t have the ID cards,” she said.

“But what they have said is that it will become increasingly difficult for individuals to deal with government departments and to complete transactions if they don’t have ID cards. What is happening in Tecom, you will see rolled out by other government departments in the UAE.”

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