The online process will save people time and money. When it becomes fully operational, the typing centres will cater to people who may not have access to the internet, Dr Al Khoury said. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Residents who apply for national ID cards online using a credit card will be able to save the Dh30 typing fee.

The online application (www.emiratesid.ae) was test-launched on Thursday for Emiratis. Expatriates will be able to use the online application within two months.

Moreover, ID card-holders will be able to renew their cards online at home without the need to visit a typing centre or Emirates Identity Authority's (Emirates ID) registration centres, a top official told Gulf News.

Only those card-holders whose fingerprints are not clear on Emirates ID's system will have to visit the Emirates ID registration centre to have their fingerprints taken again to renew the cards, said Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director-General of Emirates ID.

But only two per cent of ID card-holders have unclear fingerprints and the system will notify them while applying online for renewal, he added. Mainly professionals who come into contact with chemicals, the elderly and construction workers have unclear fingerprints, he said.

Those people and applicants for a new card will be able to choose an appointment online to visit an Emirates ID registration centre to complete the process by having their fingerprints and photograph taken.

Saving money

At present, the pre-registration process, which includes filling an application form, having documents scanned and paying a fee is done at certified typing centres. That process can be done online.

Apart from the card fee, currently there is a Dh70 extra fee, which includes the Dh30 typing fee.

Online applicants can save the Dh30 typing fee, Dr Al Khoury said. Credit card companies may charge a minor fee which may be at least 1.5 per cent of the total amount for using the credit card, he added.

For example, an expatriate with a residence visa valid for two years has to pay Dh270 at typing centres for the pre-registration process. This includes a Dh200 card fee for two years (Dh100 per year) and Dh70 extra charges including application and administration charges. But they only have to pay Dh240 online.

Online applicants can print out their receipt which will mention the appointment to visit an Emirates ID registration centre. They can scan their original passport and any other documents to upload on the system.

When the online application system becomes operational, typing centres will cater to people like labourers who may not have access to the internet, Dr Al Khoury said.