Emirates ID to soon replace driving licence, labour card...

By the end of 2013, the Emirates ID card may hold the capability of being a single docket of documentation and identification for a resident of the UAE, holding their passport, labour card, driving licence and heath insurance details.

The move is expected following completion of the population register and electronic linkage system by next year. However, there is no obligation on any of the government entities to replace their cards with the ID cards.

An Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) spokesperson told Emirates 24|7 that according to the 2010-2013 strategy, the Emirates ID card is likely to be the principal reference card for establishing personal identity and providing population data in the UAE.

“Therefore, Eida is continuously coordinating with the government entities to accomplish the electronic linkage system project to update the personal information and maintain immediate accurate data of the individuals that is highly protected and confidential.”

As a result, the spokesperson added, in the future the official cards will be replaced with Emirates ID, which will be reflected by the completion of the population register and ID card project, in addition to the electronic linkage system project, which is expected to be done by 2013.

In the letter attached with the ID card,  Eida states: “Thanks to the soon to come integration infrastructure the Eida is currently working on the with the governmental, semi-governmental and private service sectors, the identity card usages are expected to extend to cover additional applications, especially after the registration of all UAE nationals and residents is completed.”

In the  future, the identity card data may include many service cards in addition to the following applications: labour card, investors' card, social affairs card, electronic birth certificate, health card, driving licence, passport information, detail address and contact information.

In June, Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour, had said that Emirates ID cards would replace labour cards by the second half of 2012.

Although Eida said it doesn’t include the e-wallet/payment facility for the time being, it confirmed that the ID card applications and security features support such services.

“We are always encouraging the private and government entities to benefit from the digital ID card applications for developing their services provided to customers, and lots of agreement and memorandum of understandings were signed to support this sentiment," the spokesperson informed.

The Eida Strategic Plan 2010-2013 says Emirates ID hopes to contribute to the evolution of the UAE towards a fully digital community by creating an infrastructure for developing e-services and activating smart ID card applications and digital certification to establish personal identity on electronic networks, such as the web. This will allow the transition of the UAE into an integrated e-government service provider.

The ID card is currently accepted as a proof of identity by over 150 government entities.

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