UAE national ID card number lasts a lifetime

Expats leaving UAE and coming back years later keep same ID number

15:53 August 23, 2012
Emirates ID

Abu Dhabi: Expatriates who return to the UAE after leaving the country should use the same ID number, an Emirates Identity Authority spokesman told Gulf News.

The ID number on the national ID card is the permanent identification number issued to a resident in the UAE for life.

Even if an expatriate leaves the country for ten years or more, they will be issued with the same ID number when they apply for a new ID card on their return.

The 15-digit ID number on the ID card is very important as it is the government’s method for identifying individuals for all its services and transactions.

In cases where an expatriate returns, an applicant must mention the original ID number in their application for a new card or the system will reject the application, causing delays.

“Because the system will find the name and details of the applicant against an existing ID number, the application process will be suspended until the applicant modifies the application by inserting his or her ID number,” the Emirates ID spokesman said.

Those who cancel their visa to change jobs and apply for a new ID card on the new residence visa of a new employer, also have to give the existing ID number.


He said ignorance about this fact had caused delays in issuing new cards to many applicants.

“In such cases, we send a text message to the applicant, asking him or her to modify the application by inserting the ID number. The application will be processed once it is modified at the typing centre,” he said.

Those who do not have the ID number with them can visit any registration centre of the authority.

A certificate with ID number will be issued instantly to them free of charge on showing their passport, the spokesman said.

As the 15–digit ID number is permanently issued to an applicant, it is his or her duty to renew the card within one month of its expiry.

“If the card holder was staying in the country and did not renew the card, for example for two years, he or she has to pay the fee for those two years also while renewing,” the spokesman said.

This does not apply to those who leave the country by cancelling their residence visa, coming back later on a new residence visa. “They have to pay the fee for a new card only by producing the ID number.”

He clarified that at the moment it was not possible for an expatriate to avoid renewing their ID card because residence visa renewal has been linked with ID card renewal across the country.

An ID card is mandatory to use many government services for Emiratis and expatriates.