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Emirates ID card

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Emirates ID card

Emirates ID card (also called the National Identity Card) is an identification card, issued by the Emirates Identity Authority (EIA) (EIDA), that all UAE citizens (optional for diplomats) and residents are required to obtain. It will be necessary to produce your Emirates ID card to use UAE government services, and sometimes other services.

Emirates ID card smartphone renewal
Emirates ID card fines for late applications

Daily fine for late applicants is AED 20, up to a maximum of AED 1,000 (Gulf News 22 April 2012).

Emirates ID card instant delivery
Emirates ID card delivery
Emirates ID card linked to residence visa

From the linking date specified, expatriates will need to have an Emirates ID card to apply for renewal of their UAE residence visa.

Emirate Abu Dhabi Ajman Dubai Fujairah Sharjah RAK UAQ
Date announced       23 Jan 2011   26 Feb 2011  
Date linking starts     01 April 2012 30 Jan 2011 31 Jan 2011 01 Mar 2011 30 May 2010
Emirates ID card online application form (updated 22 January 2011)
Emirates ID Card new application procedure (from August 2010?)
  1. You or a representative (e.g. company PRO) should go to a certified typing center with original passport and copy, and complete the pre-registration process.
  2. Pay fee at typing center, they will complete application form and return it to you with a bar code for your follow-up appointment.
  3. Appointmet time and date sent by SMS to applicant (should be within 48 hours of completing pre-registration).
  4. Go to the Emirates ID center to get photographed, fingerprinted, and to sign the registration application.
  5. EIDA will send you the new ID card by courier. Update 2011: or they won't because there are too many cards to deliver apparently.
Emirates ID card application process
  1. Find an Emirates ID card application center.
  2. Update: Start at an official typing center (see EIDA website for a list of them), bring your passport and money, fill in an application form and get it typed out. Then you will be given an appointment to go to an Emirates ID center in a few days ... or weeks ... or months. Go to the Emirates ID center as soon as you like anyway, you might get lucky. After the Emirates ID center business (photo and fingerprinting), they'll tell you that they'll send an sms when your card is ready for collection - from an Emirates Post center (possibly a long way from where you applied or where you live). Apparently Empost send up to 6 sms messages to notify you. You might or might not get them. Good luck.
  3. Go there and try to apply for an Emirates ID card. They will probably give you an application form to fill in, or tell you to download it from the website and fill it in, then make an appointment via the website, then go to an official typing center to fill in the application form properly, then wait for a sms text message notifying you of your appointment, then return to the Emirates ID card center to complete your application. Or something like that.
  4. Or if you're (update end 2010: very very very) lucky, you'll be able to complete everything there when you visit.
  5. Or if you prefer to follow the official procedure, you could apply online for an appointment, fill in an application form, go to a typing center to get it filled in again properly, and wait for an sms notifying you of your appointment date and time. But don't blame us if that's not correct. We don't really know what's going on either.
  6. Or, you could wait it out until Emirates ID Authority decides this is all not working out very well and they'll let you do the Emirates ID card when your residence visa comes up for renewal. Unless they try to force everyone to apply for a card immediately by disconnecting mobile phones (almost everyone has at least one or two) until you get your ID card.
Emirates ID card and e-gate card
Emirates ID card uses and organisations that require you to have an Emirates ID card

Note that there have been reports of organisations that require applicants to have an Emirates ID card, but it turns out when you go there that having the ID card seems to confuse things. Bring your passport or copy as a backup. For example driving licence and car registration application and renewals (at least in 2010).

Emirates ID card and voting in the FNC elections

An emirates ID card is required for those voting in the UAE Federal National Council (FNC) elections? Only applicable to Emiratis.

Deadlines for Emirates ID card applications by emirate1
Emirate Abu Dhabi Ajman Dubai Fujairah Sharjah RAK UAQ
Emirati citizens2 31 Oct 2011 31 Oct 2011 31 Oct 2011 31 Oct 2011 31 Oct 2011 31 Oct 2011 31 Oct 2011
Expat federal employees3 31 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2011
Expat resident adults 31 Mar 2012 30 Nov 2011 30 Jun 2012 30 Nov 2011 31 Jan 2012 30 Nov 2011 30 Nov 2011
Children under 15 30 Sep 2012 30 Sep 2012 30 Sep 2012 30 Sep 2012 30 Sep 2012 30 Sep 2012 30 Sep 2012
Residence visa expiring in 2012 Renewal date   Renewal date   Renewal date    
  1. Fines will be applied from the next day. Dates are according to most recent information we could find but might not be accurate - deadline dates have changed frequently since the Emirates ID card was announced. Dates might not be an officially announced deadline, but the day before the date fines will start accumulating (AED 20 per day up to a maximum of AED 1,000 according to July 2011 information).
  2. Latest deadline announced appears to be 30 June 2011, but a later announcement said fines wouldn't be applied until 01 November 2011, implying the deadline had shifted to 31 October 2011. We're not certain this applies to all emirates - some reports seemed to indicate that Emiratis in Dubai had until 30 September 2012, but this doesn't appear to be the case according to EIDA information, unless we've misunderstood it.
  3. Includes employees in local (emirate) government organisations as well as UAE federal organisations. Although last announced deadline appeared to be 30 November 2011, later news said fines would be applied from 01 January 2012, implying the deadline had shifted to 31 December 2011.

EIDA information quoted here for reference - Dates of applying delay fees

Emirates ID card new deadlines 2012
Emirates ID card new deadlines 2010-2011
Emirates ID card update Summer 2010
Emirates ID card background and other information

On 08 September 2007, the Gulf News reported that Darwish Ahmad Al Zarouni, the director-general of the EIA, said "This will be the social security number of the individuals and will determine the identity for any services, including residency, labour, social security, immigration and healthcare, ... The ID card will replace all other card one possesses, including the labour card and the e-gate cards and will be linked to the country's immigration, labour, healthcare, law enforcing agencies."

On 05 November 2009, the UAE Ministry of Interior published a statement that said "the ID Card is a now condition for any service provided to UAE nationals and residents through the Ministry's various security authorities and police general departments & headquarters in all Emirates. These directions will go into effect as of November 22, 2009. Only residents in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharja are exempted from this obligation for the time being until further notice." Which was somewhat confusing since previous information had indicated the deadline for expat residents was end of 2010. It still seems to be a bit random as to whether or not you need to present your Emirates ID card, or sometimes whether or not it's of any use if you do.

Emirates ID registration dates
Emirates ID card registration costs, fees, and charges
Emirates ID suggestion reward system
Emirates ID card application form online download
Emirates ID Authority (EIDA) contact information
Last update Saturday 07-Feb-2015. Page development 4L 5C.
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Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

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