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Driving Rules in Kuwait

Kuwait has a well established system of roads, covering all parts of of the country.Driving in kuwait is illegal without a valid driving license and vehicle persmission from the government.


Points to be noted :

  • Driving is on the right hand side of the road.
  • It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless with a hands free kit.Street signs are often both in Arabic and English.
  • Speed limits vary according to type of the road and particular area, the maximum is 120 on motorways which drop to 45 in residential and some shopping areas.
  • Seat belts are compulsory for all passengers.  
  • Children under 10 years of age are not allowed to travel in the front seat.
  • Roads are in reasonably good condition and are well maintained.
  • Women have the right to drive and most do.  

Although Kuwait has a well established  modern system of roads, excessive speeding on both primary and secondary roads, coupled with lax enforcement of traffic regulations and a high density of vehicles, leads to frequent and often fatal accidents. Incidents of road rage, inattention, and distraction on the part of drivers, poor driving skills, and highway brinksmanship are common in Kuwait, and can be unsettling to Western drivers in Kuwait who are accustomed to more rigid adherence to traffic laws.


If an individual is in an accident, Kuwaiti law mandates that he/she must remain at the scene until the police arrive. Local emergency service organizations may be contacted by dialing 112. The use of front seat belts is mandatory in Kuwait. Driving is on the right side of the road. Speed limits are posted. Making a right turn on a red light is not permitted unless there is a special lane to do so with a yield sign. When a driver flashes his/her high beams in Kuwait, it is meant as a request to move the car into a slower lane to allow the driver with the flashing beams to proceed ahead. Parking is not allowed where the curb is painted black and yellow. Digital cameras for registering traffic violations, including speeding, are in use on Kuwaiti roads.


Possession or consumption of alcohol is illegal in Kuwait. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense, which may result in fines, imprisonment, and/or deportation. Repeat traffic violations or violations of a serious nature may also result in the deportation of an expatriate offender.


The government-owned Kuwait Public Transportation Company operates bus services throughout the Kuwait City metropolitan area on 50 different routes, which are widely used by the low-income expatriate labor force. Taxis are available at major hotels and may be telephoned to pick up passengers at other locations. Unaccompanied women should not use taxis after dark. It is now possible to hail taxis on streets. Taxis have meters, but fares are more commonly negotiated.


Visitors of  few countries can use international driving permits issued by their respective countries within the time limit of their visas; however, the visitor must also have liability insurance. It is illegal to drive in Kuwait without a license and car registration documents. If an individual is stopped and cannot produce these documents, the individual may be taken to a police station and held until the documents are presented on his/her behalf.


Visit the website of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior at www.moi.gov.kw for information and statistics in Arabic about traffic safety and road conditions in Kuwait.


Driving Rules:


To get a Kuwaiti driving licence, applicant must go to the Licence Section in the main Traffic Department in Shuwaikh or any other area and obtain approval for a learner's licence (istimara). To obtain approval, an expatriate must be a legal resident of Kuwait.


Once approval has been granted, the applicant must go to the Licence Section in the Traffic Department in the governorate in which he or she lives. Documents required include passport, original and copies of civil ID, four passport-sized photographs, as well as (if relevant) company employment letter 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 texts, which can be picked up after two days, must be submitted to the Licence Section for registration. Then the learner must go to the driving test centre 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. Learners are only allowed three shots at the driving test, which includes a written examination.


License , Insurance & Registration


To bring a car into Kuwait permanently an import licence, which can only be obtained by a member of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce, is needed. There is a ban on the import of second hand cars more than 5 years old. However special permits for bringing in veteran and classic cars can sometimes be obtained.


A new car is first registered for three years. Thereafter registration must be renewed annually. Third party vehicle insurance is compulsory.To re-register a car after the third year, the insurance must first be renewed and then the car taken for testing. The receipt issued by the insurance company and 'log Book' (daftar) must be taken with the car to a testing station at a Traffic Department (murour) in the governorate in which the car owner lives.


Driving License


A GCC national may drive a car in Kuwait on his home country licence. Non-GCC nationals may not drive on a GCC licence. An expatriate on a visit visa may only drive on an international driving licence for the period of validity of his visa and any extension and a licence issued in his home country is not acceptable. Foreign nationals with residence permits can only drive on a Kuwaiti licence.


The driving rules and regulations may change from time to time, based on the government laws in Kuwait.

Kuwait Informations

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