Once an expatriate has obtained his residence then he must obtain a civil identity (ID) card (bitaqa-almadiniyah or bitaqa for short), no matter what type of residence he is on. Civil ID cards are issued by PACI, the Public Authority for Civil Information. After his first card has been issued, the holder's civil ID number remains the same even if he changes his sponsor or leaves and comes back several years later on a different residence visa.
The civil ID card shows the holder's civil number, full name, date of birth (which is also included in the algorithm for the ID number), local address, blood group, sponsor's name, type of visa, etc, and date of expiry of the card. When ever the card expires or an expatriate changes sponsor, renews his residence or changes his address, his civil ID card must be amended accordingly.
Whether applying for the first time or renewing or replacing a civil ID card, four photographs, showing the face without spectacles, are always required for those over 11 years of age. Photographs are not needed for elderly Kuwaiti females.
To register for a civil ID for the first time, the documents required are:
- copy of passport pages showing personal details and residence stamp
- security clearance (fingerprint) form (those over 16 years)
- original birth certificate (if born in Kuwait)
- blood group certificate (those over 5 years)
- proof of house address (e.g., rental agreement and rent receipts)
- declaration signed by sponsor
For a first time domestic servant's civil ID all the above documents, except the first, are needed. For the first civil ID of a baby born in Kuwait, just a copy of the baby's birth certificate, and a copy of the sponsor's passport (showing personal details, residence stamp and the addition of the baby) or the baby's own passport (showing personal details and residence stamp), are required.
When changing or renewing a civil ID, an expatriate, no matter what type of visa he is on, only needs to submit a copy of his passport (showing personal details and the residence stamp) and his sponsor's declaration. To have an amended card issued following a change of address, the current card plus proof of the new address (e.g., rental agreement) must be submitted. To replace a lost card, a photocopy of the lost card and the expatriate's passport is required.
First time applicants on a work or dependent's visa must go in person to the PACI office in South Surra, as must all those who wish to replace a lost card. Those on a work or dependent's visa who are renewing or changing their civil IDs, and first time applicants for a domestic servant's civil ID, and applicants for the first civil ID of a baby born in Kuwait, can buy the application form and special envelopes from ?Express-Envelope? machines located in Coop supermarkets (250fils), follow the instructions and submit their applications in these special machines.
Charges, Time Limits & Penalties
The charge for a civil ID card is KD2 when it is first issued and each time it is renewed. The charge is paid when the card is collected. There is a fee of KD10 to replace a lost card.
An expatriate must apply for a civil ID card within 30 days of getting his residency, and must renew his card within 30 days of renewing his residency. For an expatriate child born in Kuwait, the time limit for first registration is 60 days from the date of birth. In all cases the penalty for late applications is a flat fine of KD100 irrespective of the length of the delay, though in practice PACI only levy a one-off fine of KD20.
Collection of Civil ID Card
It takes about 10 days for a civil ID card to be processed. Expatriates can ascertain the status of cards under process through PACI's computerised telephone answering system by calling 1889988 (1for replies in Arabic and 2 for replies in English) and keying in their civil ID number (for renewals) or the serial number on the outside of the envelope in which the application was submitted.
The civil ID card can only be picked up in person at the PACI offices in South Surra from an electronic dispensing machine. The actual machine to be used is ascertained by dialing the above telephone numbers. Two Dinars plus the old civil ID card (if held) must be fed into the machine to obtain the new card.