40,000 people a day register for ID cards at typing centres

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Certified typing centres across the country processed 40,000 ID card pre-registration applications per day during the past one week.

The Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) had transferred the pre registration process including filling out the application forms, scanning the identification documents and payment of fees to the typing centre three months ago as part of new strategy to ease the registration process.

An applicant heads to Eida registration centre only after completing the pre registration process at the typing centres.

"Emirates Identity Authority registration centres across the country recorded 11,000 registrations daily during the past one week," said Dr. Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Eida.

Thousands of applicants thronged the 700 typing centers across the country since Eida announced that a federal law stipulating December 31 as the deadline for expatriates to register for ID cards, as Gulf News reported on December 14.

Al Khoury said the Eida centres used to register on an average 8,000 applicants since the implementation of the new strategy which eased the process around three months ago.

On busy days it had crossed 9,000 mark but 11,000 is a record, he said.

Meanwhile, typing centres in all the emirates said that they were falling short of infrastructure and resources to handle the unprecedented rush.

"We are not accepting anymore applications because we simply would not be able to complete the backlog of applications we have before December 31," an employee at a typing centre in Dubai said, requesting anonymity.

"Customers are not happy when we are turning them away but we don’t want to be held responsible if they end up getting fines," he added.

The owner of another typing centre said that they are putting in extra hours and working on weekends as well.

Residents who spoke to Gulf News complained about the long number of hours they had to spend in queue before finally being able to reach the counters.

Each application takes half an hour to complete since it requires scanning and uploading of the passport to Eida’s server. "Due to increased use, the server often is busy and too slow," said one resident.

Eida earlier revealed that around 6 million expatriates had not registered by the end of July.

Although statistics since August are not available, the non-registered expatriates may still be estimated in "a few millions". Eida also revealed that most Emiratis had already registered.