Recently Saudi citizens received a text message, sent by The Saudi Department of Civil Affairs, notifying them that their national ID Cards and family cards are not to be used while traveling outside of the Gulf countries.
The text message read, “You cannot use your national ID when you travel abroad except in the GCC countries.”
The Department of Civil Affairs made it a point to request that the families not even carry these forms of identification as they would not be accepted anyway.
This message came at a time when many Saudis were preparing to vacation abroad. The department made mention that if it were absolutely necessary that they show their cards, they should make photocopies and leave the originals safely in their homes.
According to Mohammad Al-Jassir, Civil Affairs spokesman, the intention of the campaign is to entice Saudi citizens to protect their national identity documents during their vacation over the summer, Haj and various other events. He went on to add, “the campaign has succeeded in reducing the number of loss and damage cases.”
Al-Jassir also mentioned that, aside from concern about issuing the ID cards, they greatly wanted to protect against loss and damage.
If a citizen were to lose their ID within the Kingdom, they need to report that to the nearest Civil Affairs office. If it is lost abroad, they are responsible to report to any Saudi diplomatic mission within 15 days. Delays in reporting a lost ID may result in fines.