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Saudis told not to carry national ID cards outside GCC

The warning came at a time a large number of Saudis are packing to spend their summer vacation abroad

Published: Updated:

The Saudi Department of Civil Affairs has sent text messages to all citizens asking them not to carry their national IDs and family cards when traveling outside the Gulf countries.

“You cannot use your national ID when you travel abroad except in the GCC countries,” the message read.

It asked the citizens to make it a point never to carry their national IDs and family registries when they travel abroad because they will not be able to use them anyway.

The warning came at a time a large number of Saudis are packing to spend their summer vacation abroad.

The department said if it was necessary, the citizens could make photocopies of their IDs and family cards while safely keeping the originals at home.

Mohammed Al-Jassir, spokesman for the Civil Affairs, said the campaign was aimed at enticing the citizens to protect their national identity documents during the summer vacation, Haj and other events.

“The campaign has succeeded in reducing the number of loss and damage cases,” he added.

Jassir said the department is not only concerned with issuing the IDs but protecting them against loss or damage.

He asked the citizens to report to the nearest Civil Affairs office if the ID is lost inside the Kingdom and to any Saudi diplomatic mission if it is lost abroad within a maximum of 15 days.

He warned that any delay in reporting the loss or damage will subject the holder to fines of up to SR1,000, in addition to questioning.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.