May 2, 2010

ID card registration to be on appointment basis from May

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Interior's decision last week to deny its services to residents who do not have ID cards has driven home the importance of the card.

Residents who do not yet have the card will soon be able to register without waiting in a queue as the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) will soon switch over to an appointment-only registration system.

"Applicants will not need to wait as they will be reaching the registration centres by appointment only; there will not be any walk-in registration which creates queues," a senior official told Gulf News on Monday.

All registration will be done by appointments given by the typing centres which will carry out the pre-registration process (PRP), Dr Ali Al Khoury, Vice-Chairman, Higher Management Committee of EIDA, said.

Strategy

"The new system will begin in Abu Dhabi by May 2010 and will be extended all over the country gradually," Al Khoury said.

The move is part of the recently announced new strategy for 2010-2013, he said.

As Gulf News previously reported, the new strategy envisages transferring the pre-application process to typing centres, and opening registration centres in medical centres which conduct visa medical tests. The ID card registration will also be linked to visa and labour cards with a unified application form.

The major advantage of the new system is that the applicant does not need to visit the typing centre in person to do the pre-registration process (PRP), the official said.

The applicant's representative, a company PRO, a family member or friend can do it on their behalf by submitting the required documents, he said. When the application is submitted, the typing centre will give an appointment for registration at the EIDA centre. "The applicant will be visiting the EIDA centre at a given time only, so there will no queue or rush," he said.

Children under 15 years will be able to complete the registration process at typing centres, if they can submit their photos in the prescribed format as they do not need fingerprinting, Al Khoury said.

The typing centres will paste a sticker with a bar code on the passports of the applicants on completion of the PRP.

Why services are denied

An EIDA top official made it clear that until the new system is implemented, applicants have to follow the present system of completing the PRP personally on a computer to get the printout with the bar codes or through Empost or any typing centre.

Gulf News asked why many services are being denied to residents not having ID cards before the deadline (end of 2010). Al Khoury explained that the denial of services is to drive home the importance of the ID card project.

"Otherwise nobody will come forward to register," he said.

He said since registration for expatriates had started, not many people had used the opportunity to register. Many a time the registration centres were empty; even now only about 3,500 people turn up a day all over the country, whereas EIDA has the capacity for 7,000 registrations a day, he said.

"Whoever needs the government services have to complete the registrations at the earliest," Al Khoury emphasised.

Advantages of new system

1. No need to visit in person for the PRP at a typing centre; a representative or company PRO can do it by submitting valid documents.

2. Completing the PRP means you automatically get an appointment (by a typing centre) to visit an EIDA centre to complete the registration for fingerprinting, photos etc.

3. All registrations at EIDA centres will be by appointment only, so there will be no queues.

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