x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Typing centres barred from processing ID applications

Centres that had a high level of errors on applications or charged illegal fees lost accreditation, the Emirates ID Authority said.

ABU DHABI // Sixty-seven typing centres have lost accreditation to process ID applications because they were not up to standard, the Emirates ID Authority (Eida) said yesterday.

The announcement came as the authority began this week to link national ID card registration with visa renewals in Fujairah.

It was not immediately clear when the typing centres' ID services were withdrawn. Centres that had a high level of errors on applications or charged illegal fees lost accreditation, Eida said.

Ali al Khouri, the deputy head of the authority's higher committee, said earlier this week that there were about 820 typing centres in the country.

The authority's website lists only 485, and many of those are non-working numbers, or do not process ID applications. When The National tried contacting listed typing centres in December, many calls went unanswered and 32 of 84 centres reached said they did not offer the service.

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The typing centres are the initial point of contact for anyone applying for a card, which will eventually be used as a regional passport, health card and credit card for government financial transactions.

All fees and documents related to the cards are processed at the centres, and applicants later receive a text notifying them to report to a registration centre, where they are photographed and fingerprinted. Applicants are charged a Dh70 service fee and Dh100 for each year the residency visa is valid.

Typing and registration centres were flooded at the end of the year amid confusion about a deadline to obtain the cards, and about penalties. The authority extended the deadline for Emiratis to June 30, while it said expatriates would be processed as they applied for or renewed residency visas in the next three years.

Aneesah Jaumally, who lives in Ajman, said she and her fiance each paid an additional Dh100 at a typing centre there, with the promise that their application would be rushed. They noticed that others who did not have their applications rushed were also paying more than Dh170, and said it seemed the operators were making up prices on the spot.

ID cards are mandatory for Emiratis to get a driving licence and register or re-register vehicles. For other residents, the ID card is required only for new procedures - registering a vehicle for the first time or applying for a driving licence.

econroy@thenational.ae

Also see:

A National ID in the wallet but nowhere to show it