Q & A: Know your Emirates ID

All you wanted to know about the National ID but didn't know whom to ask

vital plastic:
Image Credit: Xpress/Sankha Kar
The National ID isexpected to replacemost identity cards

How do I apply for it?

You need to pre-register with any of the Eida-accredited typing centres across the UAE (http://www.id.gov.ae/en/services/services-for-individuals.aspx) with your original passport and visa page. There are over 100 centres across the UAE.

List of Emirates ID Centres

List of Service Centres

How much do I pay for the card?

Expatriate residents pay Dh100 for every year of visa validity, while Emiratis pay Dh100, valid for five years. Typing centres are authorised to charge Dh70 for services, including typing, courier and other miscellaneous charges. If your visa is valid for three years, the total fee is Dh370.

What shall I do if I am charged extra?

Report the matter on 600 523432.

I don't want to go to a typing centre. Can I fill up my form online?

No. First-time applicants must pre-register by filling up the electronic form through typing centres accredited by Eida. Bring the receipt from the typing centre along with your original passport to the registration centre.

I have a National ID card, but it's about to expire...

Get it renewed at any Eida centre. Don't forget to take along your passport and the ID card. There's no need to go to a typing centre for renewing a National ID card.

Do we have to take our children along to register at the typing centre?

No. Just bring their original passport and two passport-size photographs (with light blue background). However, the child must visit the registration centre in person to finalise ID registration procedures (picture taking and fingerprinting).

I'm wearing contact lenses and a hand henna. Is that OK during registration?

Coloured contact lenses and hand henna are not allowed at the time of registration.

How much do I pay for each child for an ID?

Registration fees for children below 15 (all nationalities) is Dh70 in addition to Dh70 as service fees.

What documents do I need to bring to the typing centre?

Expatriates must bring original passport, including residence visa. Emiratis need to bring their original passport, Original Family Book and Parent's Family Book

After pre-registration, how will I know when to go to a registration centre to have my fingerprints and pictures taken?

You will receive an SMS stating the date and time when your photograph and fingerprints will be taken and at which Eida centre.

How long does it take to register and to get the card?

The fingerprinting and picture-taking takes about six minutes. You get the card by courier within one month.

Besides utilities and immigration centres, where else do we use the National ID card?

Courts require the National ID card for transactions. Under Federal Decree No. 9 (of 2006), all agencies are required to accept the National ID card as proof of customer's identity when providing services. The law also requires government and private entities to encourage their employees to register with the UAE population register.

Is the National ID number the same as card number?

No. The ID number is 15-digits separated by three dashes (-). The ID number links every individual to his/her personal and biological lifetime data and serves as a reference for the respective individual in his/her identity-proved transactions with government bodies and some private organisations. It is expected that the ID card would later replace all currently applicable identification means such as labour card, health card, driving licence, etc.

The card number, on the other hand, has nine digits.

For more information, or help, please contact Emirates ID on 6005 30003 .


  • heart

    Dec 19, 2010 11:09

    i just wanna ask if i need a national ID/ emirates ID if may visa finish this january 7 2011? i don't want to renew may visa... thanks!

  • Gina Gelvero

    Sep 19, 2010 2:02

    Is this ID mandatory? I'm working in a company for more than a year. I just have a labour card. Can the company apply for this ID on behalf of its employees?

  • Melanie

    Sep 19, 2010 10:25

    I have applied before but have been unable to take the ID since my visa will be over next month. Do I have to apply for a new one and get a new number? I am confused. Please help.

  • Noureddine

    Sep 18, 2010 2:27

    Well done. Thanks a lot for the clarifications regarding the national ID. The article was much need to clear our confusions.

  • Mumtaz Ahmed

    Sep 17, 2010 8:44

    I had submitted a copy of my Emirates ID card to the etisalat office as a proof of residency for an etisalat connection. However, etisalat staff soon called me up to ask for another document that has both the issue and expiry dates. The national ID card doesn’t have an issue date and hence etisalat rejected the document. Concerned authorities must make a note of this.

  • Anonymous

    Sep 17, 2010 10:00

    What about the UAE nationals who do not have Jinsiya? They have been told that they cannot apply for the ID. How far is this true?

  • Sanker

    Sep 16, 2010 4:14

    I got my National ID card in December 2009. I was then working for a Dubai Media City based company. I have now changed my job. Hence, I have to cancel my current visa and apply for fresh visa. My new company is based outside the Free Zone. Do I have to apply for National ID again?

  • Siddiq

    Sep 16, 2010 9:52

    It would’ve been great if the UAE government issued this Emirates ID card free of cost to both Emiratis and expatiates alike. Expatriates have to incur not just medical, work permit and visa costs, but also an extra amount of money to get this identity card!The purpose of this ID is to register UAE’s total population.But imagine the condition of an unskilled labourer. An unskilled worker gets a monthly salary of Dh300. This ID card is a must for him. But who will bear its cost? Will his employer pay for the ID card, or is it that he has to pay from his own pocket?If an unskilled labourer’s residence visa expires on December 2013, does he need to get an ID? And if he does get a three-year ID by paying Dh370, will he be refunded the amount in case he decides to cancel his residence visa in 2011. Will the UAE government repay the balance two-year charges?Please note that in India, ID cards (Adhar) are issued free of cost to over one billion people.