Abu Dhabi: As the deadlines have passed for most people in the country to register for or renew national ID cards, many of them have to pay a Dh20 fine for each day they remain unregistered, adding up to a maximum of Dh1,000.
The Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) however gives exemption from fines to those who can provide genuine reasons for the delay in registering for or renewing their ID cards, a senior official told Gulf News in an interview.
“Such people have to directly approach any registration centre of the authority and their case will be considered on merit,” Dr Ali Al Khoury, director general of Emirates ID, said.
He said that, as per a decree issued by Lt General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Deputy Chairman of the Emirates ID Authority, five categories of people can request an exemption from fines.
1. The first category comprises people who have remained outside the country for more than six months or those whose ID card expired while they were outside the country. If the ID card has expired when a person was still in the UAE, the fine would be imposed from the date of its expiry to the date of the person’s departure from the country, subject to certain conditions.
2. People whose ID cards have expired after they were deported following an administrative or judicial decision can also seek exemption from fines if they are legally allowed to return to the country again later. If ID cards are found to have expired when such persons were in the UAE, fines would be imposed from the date of expiry until the deportation date, subject to certain conditions.
3. When an Emirati dies, his or her family has to report it to the authority to cancel the ID card until an automated system — expected to be implemented in the near future — comes up to report all births and deaths in the country to the authority. No fines will be charged on an ID card of a person who has died during its cancelation even if it had not been not renewed in time. In the case of expatriates, the card is automatically cancelled when their residence visa is cancelled. People with contagious diseases can also seek exemption from fines during their illness, subject to certain conditions.
4. People who could not apply for or renew ID cards because they were not issued a passport — either a new one or while changing nationality — can seek exemption from fines for the period they were waiting for the passport. In the case of Emirati and expatriate children, they should get a separate passport and any delay in getting one will be considered on merit for exemption of fines. If Emirati children have a passport but not a family book as yet, the delay in getting the family book [if not their fault] will also be exempt from fines, subject to certain conditions.
5. Delay in registration or renewal of ID cards due to errors made by Emirates ID staff or typing centres will also be exempted from fines.
As per the decree, the authority has formed a six-member committee headed by the director general to approve requests for exemption from fines, Dr Al Khoury said. He said the committee has decided to decentralise this process and authorised the registration centres to take on-the-spot decisions on requests made by applicants. “Many people who proved genuine reasons for the delay have benefited,” he said.
The official urged those who believe they have valid reasons to be exempted from fines to approach the registration centres with necessary documents to highlight genuine issues that led to the delay.