Nov 22, 2011

ID cards made mandatory for traffic services in UAE

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: The National ID card has been made mandatory for expatriates to access traffic and licensing services across the country except for Dubai emirate, senior officials said.

It is already mandatory for Emiratis across the country and expatriates in Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to access the Ministry of Interior Services, including traffic and licensing services, since November 2009.

The ID card is compulsory for expatriates in Abu Dhabi to access some of the traffic department services since August 2010. "But all traffic and licensing services in Abu Dhabi will require the ID card now," Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director-General of Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID), told Gulf News on Monday.

In Dubai, the ID card will be made mandatory from December for expatriates working in government and semi-government organisations, in order to obtain traffic services. But it will be mandatory for all expatriates in Dubai to access traffic services by mid-2012. The deadline for expatriates in Dubai to apply for ID cards is May 31, 2012. "The Emirates ID card is already a must for UAE nationals for traffic and licence procedures. From December 1, this will be extended to all the expatriates working in government and semi-government offices too," Ahmad Hashim Behroozian, CEO of the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) Licensing Agency, told Gulf News yesterday.

Ministry services

"By mid-2012, all expatriates will need an Emirates ID card for all RTA transactions," he said.

Brigadier Gaith Hassan Al Za'abi, Director-General of Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior who announced on Saturday that the ID card will be mandatory across the country for obtaining traffic and licensing services, clarified that a receipt of the ID card application procedure will also be accepted.

Al Khoury said the authority has asked the executive councils of all the emirates to make ID cards the official identification document for all official transactions. So Emiratis and expatriates can produce ID card for official transactions instead of family books and passports [respectively], Al Khoury said. He said the ID card mandatory norm for traffic services was to have been implemented in Sharjah yesterday (Sunday). But the traffic department officials in Sharjah were not available for comment to confirm this yesterday.

Processing applications

In Abu Dhabi, those who open a fresh file to undergo driving tests and process applications for a driving licence [after passing the test] and car registration have had to present their ID cards since August 2010. Services such as renewing existing driving licences and vehicle registration also require the ID card now.

The CEO of the RTA said the decision to make the ID card mandatory for services is being done in phases to avoid strain on the system. The ID card will be made mandatory from January 2012 for all municipality transactions.

Director General of Sharjah Municipality Sultan Al Mualla said that expatriates and UAE nationals working in government and non-government organisations will be required to present the municipality with their ID card.

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