Some residents, such as Westerners, may obtain a Kuwaiti driving license on the strength of their national driving license only. Other nationalities, even if they have a driving license from their home country, are obliged to apply for a learner’s license and pass a driving test.
To obtain a driving license on the basis of a home-country license, an expatriate must present the following at the Traffic Department in the governorate in which he or she lives:
- passport and photocopy of pages showing personal details and residence stamp,
- letter from sponsor stating the applicant’s position in the country (employee or dependent)and showing the applicant’s full residential address,
- proof of residential address, such as copy of tenancy agreement or electricity bill,
- original driving licence from home country
- photocopy of original driving licence certified by applicant’s embassy in Kuwait,
- blood group certificate from a local clinic,
- sight test certificate if the applicant wears glasses or is over 50 years of age,
- four color photos (2.0 x 3.0 cm) (9) fee of KD15.
- attested degree certificates (for those who are on a non-driver visa)
To get the eyesight certificate, a paper from the local traffic department must be obtained and taken to the Ministry of Public Health (MPH) testing clinic in Qortuba.
Persons who are not allowed to get a Kuwaiti driving license on the strength of their national license must go to the License Section in the main Traffic Department in Shuwaikh and obtain approval for a learner’s license (istimara). To obtain approval, an expatriate must satisfy conditions mentioned in the box above. However certain persons are exempt from these conditions.
Once approval has been granted, the applicant must go to the License Section in the Traffic Department in the governorate in which he or she lives. Documents required include
- original and copies of civil ID,
- four passport-sized photographs,
- company employment letter(if relevant) and copy of work permit from Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour or letter of employment from a ministry.
A KD10 stamp must be affixed to the application form. Then the learner must go to the Traffic Department in Qurtoba for eye and blood tests. The results of the tests, which can be picked up after two days, must be submitted to the License Section for registration. Then the learner must go to the driving test center at the governorate’s Traffic Department to fix a date for a driving test, for which a KD10 booking fee is levied. KD10 must also be paid on the day of the test.
Renewing a Driving License
Kuwaiti driving licenses are issued for periods of up to ten years depending on the driver’s age. Once the license runs out it can be renewed in less than a day at the Traffic Department that originally issued it. Documents required include original and copies of passport and civil ID, old driving license and three passport-sized photographs. An application form must be typed and submitted.
Whether an eye test is required by a driver who does not wear glasses depends on the driver’s age. Drivers up to the age of 40 are exempt from the test and are given a ten year renewal of their driving licenses for KD10. A driver between the ages of 40 and 50 is also exempt but his license is only renewed up to his 50th birthday. Drivers who are 50 years or older must undergo an eye test at the MPH clinic in Qortuba. Provided they pass the test, drivers aged 50 to 55 are given a 5-year renewal of their license, those aged 56 a 4-year renewal, those aged 57 a 3-year renewal, those aged 58 a 2-year renewal and those aged 59, a one-year renewal. Drivers who are 60 or older get a 3-year renewal (for KD3) after passing the eye test and may renew their licenses every three years thereafter provided they pass the eye test each time.
HINTS FOR EXPATS
When an expatriate’s residence permit lapses or is canceled, his driving license also becomes invalid. The driving license becomes valid again when residence is renewed.
source: Kuwait pocket guide