Image via WikipediaPopped off to get the car registered, a tad late admittedly. Was just girding the old loins to do it when I was amazed to get a text from the RTA telling me I was in danger of blowing it and to get my butt online to register or go to a Shamil Centre. It's wrong of me to be so delighted when stuff like this happens, I know.
The Emarat Shamil station was amazingly fast, efficient and even friendly (up to a point) and the whole thing took just over 20 minutes. How things have been transformed since the days of yore, when vehicle registration was at least a half day marathon often involving having to travel to other emirates to pay fines, multiple procedures, inexplicable counters with grunting staff and constant, shuffling queues!
It was almost all done, when the grumpy bloke behind the counter (the only grumpy bloke around, I have to say) says "Bassbort."
A passport is not, of course, a requirement that is outlined in the RTA's online vehicle registration guidelines. But I'm old enough to know that you need your passport for anything official, semi-official, quasi-official or where a bureaucrat is involved (for instance, the bank) or where you can see no conceivable need for a passport.
I thought I'd try my luck. "I have my ID card. Here."
Incredibly, the response was "Not this. Not need this. Want bassbort."
"But this is the National ID card. It has all of my information. My biometrics. It confirms me."
"It has information. Visa expiry and sponsor name."
And so I had to get my bassbort out for him and pocket my, now confirmed as totally useless, national ID card, the document that, as you'll recall, was the most critical thing that you absolutely, certainly needed for vehicle registration as of last week.
I wonder if you can play tiddleywinks with them?
PS: There's a new rule whereby you have to have a little triangular warning thingy in your car. The Emarat stations sell 'em for Dhs30.