Identity Cards a Must from Jan 1

'The identity card is mandatory from January 1, 2009 and those who do not have them will face penalties including a jail sentence,' Thamer Rashed M. Al Qasemi, Planning Director of Emirates Identity Authority, told reporters on Tuesday.

By Riyasbabu

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Published: Thu 23 Oct 2008, 12:55 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:36 PM

Thamer said nationals found without cards will be fined Dh1,000 for the first time. The penalty could be up to a three-month jail term if the offence is repeated.

For expatriate workers, the penalty will be limited to not allowing them to use government services in 2009. They will also be fined in 2010, he added.

Thamer said a total of 1.2 million people, including nationals, expatriate professionals and their families are required to get their identity cards.

Of these, 600,000 have already registered in different centres of the Emirates Identity Authority.

“We are equipped to register the remaining 600,000 people before the deadline of December 31 this year,” he said. The Emirates Identity Authority has 28 centres across the country and residents can go to these centres without taking prior appointment to register their names.People can also book appointments through the authority’s Web site for registration.

“The registration fee is Dh100 per person for nationals and Dh50 for children under 15 for both nationals and expatriates.

The fee for expatriate professionals is calculated on the number of years left in their residency permit and for each remaining year, the person will be charged Dh100,” Thamer said.

For blue-collar workers, mobile units will visit their labour camps to register them during 2010.

Thamer said the identity card can be used for any government service and the electronic chip in the card will have all information regarding the person.

It can be used as a health card or a labour card.

All government departments will have the data of the holder and the card can be used for all their transactions with these departments.

“People should produce the card for using bank accounts, hospital admission and utility services like water and electricity supplies. We will not spare anyone from this,” he said.

Thamer further said the cards would have records of eye scan and an electronic photo of the holder, which would help the authorities to identify the person easily.

“The aim of introducing the identity card is also to reduce crime, combat terrorism, eliminate identity theft, control immigration and provide services to both citizens and legal immigrants,” he said.

Nationals would not be allowed to cross the borders of GCC countries without the card after January 2009. However, he said, the authority would ensure the privacy of individuals and any data regarding them will not be passed on to any other party.

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