Monday, February 01, 2010

No ID-er

Photo of the Black Beast by HDR enthusiast,

The Goat has managed to survive motorcycling in the UAE for an entire year, and considers wood to be touched. So it comes as no surprise that a visit to the Sharjah Tasjeel Auto Village was in order this week.

The insurance premium went up, despite depreciation of the machine’s value, but then went down a bit once I reminded the insurance company that a No-Claims discount was applicable. I still have Fully Comp. owing to the prodigious cost of Japanese plastic.

The test involved an inspector confirming that the VIN on the frame was the same as the VIN on the old registration card, and then checking that the lights all worked. After trying and failing to find the lights and indicator switches, he asked me to work the switchgear:

“Is the brake light working?”





“Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes...”

The inspector also passed comment that the bike was “too much big”, meaning that Muggins got to schlep it into the inspection area and out again some 30 seconds later. Nobody passed comment regarding the non-standard exhaust system, and I wasn’t about to point out that it was For Off-Road Use Only™. As I have previously noted, the silencer isn’t overly loud anyway. At 5000rpm it’s no louder than the stock pipe.

A couple of weekends ago I was over at the Aprilia shop in International City for an open day and brunch. Several Harley-Davidsons went on to the dynamometer. They were all extremely loud, and one with its straight-through (and apparently street-legal (yeah, right!)) pipes would have rendered me stone-deaf if I’d not been wearing ear defenders. Instead the sound merely turned my internal organs to jelly. But I digress.

So no complaints so far. I paid my Dh100 for the test, and then moved on to have the insurance document checked. At this point I was asked for a passport copy with valid visa page. I proffered my Emirates ID Card, that important document whose absence will have the Ministry of the Interior “...refuse provide its services to the relevant UAE citizens and residents who did not register...”

The man behind the counter was not interested. I asked what was wrong with the ID card; why it was not acceptable, and he said he didn’t know. This is precisely what I had anticipated, so I produced the passport photocopy.

So I wonder what has happened to:

“The grace period stipulated by the Ministry of the Interior for UAE nationals and residents to obtain and accept the ID will lapse on 22 November [2009]...”


“MOI’s various services provided to individuals throughout the UAE are as follows: All vehicle and driver licensing services...”

OK, so “...residents of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, only on temporary basis...” are excepted because the EIDA didn’t anticipate everyone rushing to get an ID card as instructed by the - erm - EIDA, and were consequently inundated. But not to accept the document that is designed to replace having to produce a passport and visa copy when it is available is, to my way of thinking, ludicrous.

Given that I only ever used my ID card to get packages off Aramex, and then only because my driving licence wasn’t immediately to hand, it occurs to me that this whole ID card fiasco is probably a waste of time, effort and money. Still, it gives me something the write about.

After handing over my passport copy with valid residence visa page, I went over to the traffic police desk. I was charged Dh130 for a new registration card. No fines. Huzzah! Another mostly satisfied customer.


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