There are a few modes of transportation in Kuwait, such as cars, buses, and taxies, and if you are visiting, you can drive in the country with your foreign or international driver’s license. If you are living in Kuwait on a visa, going to school, or working in Kuwait, you may eventually need to get a driver’s license in the country. There are a few factors that will dictate how easily it will be for you to obtain your license.
Requirements for getting a Driver’s License
Your visa status, gender, education, and occupation are all contributing factors. Expats must have lived in Kuwait for two years, earn at least KD 600 monthly, have a university degree, and must be 18 years of age. This may seem too restrictive for certain circumstances, but Kuwait does allow expats of certain professions to have some of these requirements waived.
A few jobs that have fewer requirements to obtain a driver’s license are:
- Professional sport players
- Company representatives
- Housewives with children whose husbands hold a driving license
- Teachers, social workers, and other professionals that are working for the government
- Pilots, captains, and their crew
- Oil Sector technicians
These jobs are in high demand, allowing them to have some of the restrictions waived, such as salary and degree, for the greater benefit of the country.
If you are in Kuwait because of your job, the company you work for will often assist you in getting your driver’s license.
Documents Needed for Applying for Driving License
- A letter from the company you work for, if applicable, along with colleague information.
- A pay stub.
- A current driver’s license from your home country. If the license is out of date, this will make it more difficult for you to get one in Kuwait. You must have your current license translated and attested in order to have the information transferred to your new one.
- Original civic ID plus a copy.
- Two personal photos (4x6cm) with blue background
- Blood Group Certificate
- Eye test
- Service Application Form
You will bring these documents to the traffic department, or you may wish to book your appointment online, which can be done online.
There you can find information for:
Scrap and Export
Lorry and Trolley
The Driving Exam
The test consists of writing and a driving skills test, including parallel parking. You will also need to complete and pass a medical exam. If you hold a doctor’s degree, the only test you will need to take is a vision test. There is a sample of the written test offered on Kuwait’s website. For the driving portion of the test, you can use your own vehicle, borrow one from a family member or friend, or pay to use the one provided. Testing is only offered during regular working hours, so you may need to take time off work or university to complete it. Once completed and passed, your license will be processed within 1-2 weeks.
While living in Kuwait, it’s important to get your license. If you are pulled over and do not have a valid license, an officer is obligated to confiscate your vehicle, and you could be deported.
Some other important laws are:
You must wear a seatbelt.
You must carry your driver’s license with you.
Your vehicle must be legally registered.
Your vehicle must be insured.
Do not drink and drive.
Just to name a few.
How to Renew Your License
Your driver’s license needs to fully expire in order for you to renew it.
The documents needed for renewal are:
Original civil ID and copy
One personal photo
Bring these documents to the traffic department, fill out the service application, and pay the renewal fee.
The renewal fees are:
1KD for a private license
5KD for a motorbike fee
20KD for a public license
Driver’s License Validity
Kuwaitis- valid for 15 years.
Resident licenses are valid for ten years.
Domestic worker licenses are valid per their residence to stay.
Motorbike licenses are valid for five years.
Private licenses are valid for up to 10 passengers, and driving capacity is up to 2 tonnes.
Public licenses are valid for three years and are able to be used for all types of vehicles.
Other ways to get around Kuwait
If you are unable for any reason to get your license at this time—there are plenty of ways for you to get around Kuwait:
Walking can be a great way to get around and sightsee.
Buses are a cheap and easy option for residents to get to and from work. These buses are operated by the Kuwait Public Transport Company.
Taxis, you can find them easily, and there are many different services.
Bicycle, while many areas aren’t very bicycle-friendly, there are still areas where you can enjoy getting around on your bike.
Train rail systems are currently unavailable in the country, although many projects are being planned for them to be constructed.