ABU DHABI // A new system for identity card applications to be introduced in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain tomorrow will speed up the registration process by about 20 minutes, the Emirates ID Authority (EIDA) said yesterday. Applicants will be able to go in person, or send a representative, to one of nine typing centres in the capital and 10 in Al Ain to complete an application form, pay a fee and scan their passport.
They will then receive an appointment date via a text message to go to an ID card registration centre to get their fingerprints scanned and photographs taken. In the past, people had to download application forms from the authority's website and complete it themselves, before going to a registration centre to complete the other formalities. People would often make mistakes on the form and have to resubmit applications.
Now, a trained member of staff at a typing centre will ask the questions and type answers directly onto a computerised form. "The new process is faster because we pushed most of the procedures out of the registration cycle," said Dr Ali al Khouri, the deputy chairman of EIDA's higher management committee. Previously, too many stages of the application were done at the registration centres, such as scanning documents and processing forms, he said.
"We also fixed the appointment process by starting the SMS service," said Dr al Khouri. "Initially, people had to get appointments online, but that did not work because applicants bombarded the e-appointment [website] and they were getting appointments one year later. "So we cancelled all of the e-appointments and people had to go physically to the centres for appointment dates." The new system had been trialled over the past two weeks, during which the registration time was cut from about half an hour to five to 10 minutes, Dr al Khouri said. "This process will expand [from Al Ain and Abu Dhabi] to the rest of the emirates gradually."
It costs Dh30 to complete the form at a typing centre, Dh40 for delivery and Dh100 for each year of registration for the card. In September, two new registration centres will open in Musaffah, one for registering labourers and the other to begin linking ID card applications with residency visas. People wanting to acquire or renew a residency visa will have to register for an ID card. "As a pilot, this will be done through the centre in Musaffah, then we are working on building registration booths next to preventive medicine centres where people have to conduct their residency medical tests," Dr al Khouri said.
Within two months, the authority hopes to be using portable centres to register people who work for large companies or live in labour camps or rural areas. Details on where typing centres are located can be found at www.emiratesid.ae. firstname.lastname@example.org