Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Dubai Vehicle Registration And The National ID Card. A Farce

Non-citizen, diplomatic, travel document, and ...Image via Wikipedia
Popped 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."

"Need bassbort."

"Why?"

"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. 
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13 comments:

Luke said...

Why does this not surprise me?

Just glad I didn't the time of getting an ID card. However, we're in the process of leaving Dubai for good, so I am very curious if some official will demand I get an ID card so that he can cancel it (or whatever he needs to do).

Dave said...

Funny thing is I offered my bassbort to the ever-so-friendly RTA lady just three weeks ago..... "no need" I was told....

the real nick said...

Thanks for telling - my registration is up next week. I shall bring with me my passport, my primary school leaving certificate, my sons' inoculation records and a teaspoon. Any other suggestions what I might need?

alexander... said...

Nick. I'd take a photocopy of yer bum too, just in case...

But I must add that the process is totally streamlined now. The one I used is down near Port Rashid and was great.

Stained said...

I've never been asked for a passport...thats news to me...

Susan said...

No to tiddleywink but they're perfect for scraping ice of the car windscreen on those cold winter mornings.... oh wait, we don't get them here

HE said...

I'm glad you went through that - I had to google tiddlywinks. I feel smarter :)

DaddyBird said...

Yep, I always carry my passport AND my ID card- and copies of both- with me, just to keep the bases covered in such situation.
Our experiences with the RTA offices since we moved here have been quite pleasant and relatively speedy as well. Quite a contrast to our previous experience; visiting a motor vehicle registry office in the US still usually a soul-sucking and time consuming experience.

Bushmechanic said...

And this morning at sevenish, I passed a long queued formed outside the Emirates Identity Card office in Al Barsha. Haven't seen that for a long time.

Grumpy Goat said...

Exactly the same happened to me, Alex. It was, of course, the Emirate of Ash Shariqa. Dunno if al bassbort is compulsatory and obligational in other emirates

Mo Elzubeir said...

Alex, which Emirates was this in? I've never been asked to present my passport. In fact, I've had my cars registered for me. But like others here, I do carry passport, driver's license, mug shots, copies of all of the above with me at all times.. and I actually feel a bit disappointed when no one asks me for them :)

Kind'a like when there is a random checkpoint where they pull cars over.. and then the police just wave me through.. no no.. wait.. check me.. check me! I want to be validated :)

George said...

Alexander,

This post made me laugh. I've just moved to Dubai from Portugal and this is typical of what we put up with over there. Not only do we have to have a triangle thingy, but must have TWO sets of replacement light bulbs on hand for the tail lights and wear a fluorescent green or yellow (government approved) safety jacket whenever outside of the vehicle if stranded on the roadside. Get this - friends of mine were ticketed when they were stranded while walking to the boot of the car to put on the safety jacket. The offence? Not wearing the safety jacket when outside the car. You will notice that when in Portugal now, most motorists have fitted the safety jacket over the seat back of the passenger side seat so it can be placed on the body before getting out of the car. Living here won't feel too much different than what I am used to in Portugal.

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