ID rule for women’s passports on hold
JEDDAH — The Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) has retracted its former decision making it imperative for Saudi women and children over 15 to present their ID cards in order to obtain or renew their passports. The Jawazat had earlier announced that starting from May 1, women and children would have to produce ID.
“We have temporarily put the decision on hold but have not yet fixed a new date for its execution,” Jawazat spokesman Lt. Col. Ahmed Allihaidan said. He said the decision was suspended because of the travel rush during the school summer vacation.
“We want to complete the procedures for issuance or renewal of women and children’s passports quickly so that their travel plans are not disrupted,” he said.
The spokesman said the photos and fingerprints of women and children stored in the main computer of the Interior Ministry are enough for now.
“Women and children who do not have their photos and fingerprints in the computer should hurry to do this, otherwise they will not have their passports issued or renewed,” he said.
Allihaidan said 3,083,252 Saudis have registered with the Jawazat’s Absher electronic service as of June 7.
He said this service has facilitated many procedures for Saudis and expatriates who used to do them manually. He said they receive a daily average of 10,000 requests from companies, citizens and expatriates to activate their Absher service.
He said: “We have reached high levels in automating all our services. We plan to make these services completely electronic in the very near future.”