Mandatory ID card for traffic services on hold

Abu Dhabi: Thousands of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah residents who could not access traffic department services since May 2 because they did not have an ID card, have received a reprieve from the authorities.

Authorities have put on hold an earlier decision making ID cards mandatory for accessing traffic department services in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, a senior official of Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) told on Monday.

Dr Ali Al Khoury, Vice-Chairman, Higher Management Committee of Eida, cited the uncontrollable crowds at Eida registration centres in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

"Meanwhile our hassle free-appointment only registration has begun in Dubai which will be extended all over the country soon," he said.

The crowd in Sharjah [at Eida centres] was manageable but it was decided to extend the reprieve there also, he said.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai did not implement the earlier decision.

Eida will take all necessary steps to avoid crowding in Dubai centres when RTA implements the Ministry of Interior decision, Al Khoury said. [RTA did not implement the decision following the ministry announcement].

"We will talk to RTA before they implement the decision for taking necessary steps to avoid the crowding [at EIDA centres] which happened in Abu Dhabi. We will be careful while implementing such decisions," he said.

People who were denied traffic services welcomed the new decision.

"They took the right decision. I will go and register my new car tomorrow [Tuesday]," said Peter Lloyd, 52, a British Production Manager who came to Abu Dhabi six months ago.

"I was told I needed an ID card when I went to register my new car on May 2," said Lloyd who secured an appointment for ID card registration on May 16.

Temporary suspension

The ministry of Interior had issued a statement on April 30 making ID cards mandatory, from May 2. After implementing the decision it became clear there were difficulties.

Although senior ministry officials, when contacted, declined to comment about the temporary suspension, traffic department officials confirmed that they are now accepting applications without asking for the ID.

Officials are yet to make any public announcement on this.

“We received a communication from the Interior ministry to stop asking for the ID cards, for the next two weeks. So from Sunday [May 9] , we have not been asking for it”, an Abu Dhabi traffic department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.