There is one pretty good reason to go to the trouble of getting an I.D. card if you plan to stay here for any length of time, and that is to save on your transport costs. At time of writing, an all-day bus ticket costs €2.60 for anyone without said card, and €1.50 for those who do. There are doubtless other advantages which I haven't figured out just yet, but as getting the card is free it's good enough to start with.
|close-ups are tricky for my camera|
So this is how you go about getting your resident's card like my one here (as you can see, it's no good for travelling outside the country..).
First of all, you need to take yourself and your passport down to the electoral commission offices at Evans Building, St Elmo Place in Valetta. When you go inside, a brusque official standing at the door will ask you what you're looking for. Mumble something about an i.d. card and he directs you to where you need to fill in an application form. Then you stand around for a little while as people finish their cigarette breaks until you see a police official who checks you passport. Then you queue again in order to get your photo taken.
One more queue and you're informed that a letter will be sent out to you, and once you receive this you can come back to collect your card. So you need to have an address in Malta, (a hotel is not going to do it), although there is no need to prove that you actually live at this address. By the way, you are supposed to have been living - or plan to live - for at least a year in Malta, although again they don't check this.
My letter arrived within the week so I toddled back the next Saturday for more queuing and more photos and I came away with the card clutched in my grubby little hand. All free of charge, which cannot be said for most things around here.
1. - The Maltese ID card also entitles you to free treatment at any of the public hospitals. This is possible even more important than cheaper bus fares!
2. - With this ID card you can join a Maltese public library, all free of charge.
3. - Another update, this I.D. card is actually VERY useful. If you have one of these it becomes a lot easier to open a bank account in Malta. I didn't at the time I opened my account, and the process was rather tortuous.
4. - Makes it easy to join a video/dvd rental shop
Check out this website for more details: www.electoral.gov.mt.