Despite giving 90-day grace period to residents to collect their Emirates IDs, Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) said 73,290 cards were returned in 2015.
“We had 73,290 ID cards returned in 2015, which have been destroyed,” the authority said in a tweet.
Earlier this month, Emirates 24|7 reported that the ID cards are destroyed after the grace period is over.
“Once the card is printed, the Emirates ID sends it to Emirates Post for delivery. The post subsequently sends a text message informing the customer about the same and requesting to collect the card at the post office specified in the application form. If the applicant does not collect it within 90 days, the card is returned to Eida and is destroyed.
“This was a policy between us and Emirates Post to ensure that no ID cards are left uncollected for a long time since we issue a large number of ID cards daily that are sent to Emirates Post for distribution,” Eida said in a statement sent to this website.
Those seeking a replacement card have to pay Dh300 fee, which is in addition to the initial cost of application.
Overall, the total number of ID cards issued in 2015 hit about 5 million cards, including 1.5 million new cards and 3.5 million renewals, while about 35,000 people sought replacements for lost or damaged cards.
The UAE citizens' compliance with timely renewal of their ID cards exceeded 95 per cent and is a positive indicator that reflects the growing awareness of the importance and advantages of the smart ID card, Abdulaziz Al Maamri, Director of the Government & Community Communication Department, Eida told Emarat Al Youm newspaper.
Most people who do not renew their cards in time fall under the eight cases exempted from delay penalties. These cases include a person who left the country for more than three months, or a resident whose residency has expired while being abroad and whose card becomes invalid after the date of departure and this case can be proven by the date of departure on the resident's passport.
Other cases include a person whose ID card becomes invalid after being exiled by an administrative order, or decision, or by a court ruling, or whose passport is seized due to being party in pending lawsuits, or because of passport renewal and this case can be proven by a letter or a receipt issued by the relevant authority that have exiled or held the resident or by a receipt of passport renewal, Al Maamri said.