The National ID is expected to replace most identity cards Image Credit: Xpress/Sankha Kar

Abu Dhabi: The federal law stipulating December 31 as the deadline for expatriates to register for ID cards is still valid, but a top official told Gulf News yesterday there is no cause for residents to panic.

The large number of expatriates [who have not yet registered] don't need to panic about the law but to fulfil their legal obligation, they have to just fill up the application for ID cards at any of the 700 typing centres across the country, Dr Ali Mohammad Al Khoury, Director-General of Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), said in an interview.

The official did not reveal the number of expatriates who have yet to register, but he admitted that all could not be registered before December 31.

Eida earlier revealed that around 6 million expatriates had not registered by the end of July, as Gulf News reported.


Although statistics since August are not available, Eida revealed that 261,350 residents registered during October and November, an increase of more than 100 per cent compared to last year. It hints that the non-registered expatriates may still be estimated in "a few millions". Eida also revealed that most Emiratis had already registered.

The official said the latest statistics will be announced by the end of this month.

He said the law is still valid because the federal government has not announced any extension of the deadline for expatriates. Al Khoury did not comment about any possible action against those who have not yet registered, saying the government has not taken any decision in this regard.

Two-stage process

ID card registration now has two stages. In the first stage, an applicant has to do the pre-registration process at a certified typing centre, including filling out the application form, scanning identification documents and payment of fees.

In the second stage, after receiving an appointment by SMS, the registration process is done at Eida centres, which include fingerprinting, photographing and taking a signature.

Since Eida recently implemented an appointment-based registration system across the country (with certain exceptions in the Northern Emirates), residents have to wait for an appointment to visit the Eida centre.

The applicant can show the receipt from the typing centre proving that he or she has fulfilled his/her legal obligation but is waiting for an appointment for the next stage. For the location and contact number of typing centres, log on www.emiratesid.ae.

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