Complex Made Simple

Media exaggerated mass cancellation of Kuwaiti expats’ drivers’ licenses   

Based on an Al-Rai newspaper report, media outlets reported that more than 250,000 driving licenses of expats were expected to be canceled in Kuwait over the next few months. This turned out to be false

More than 3 million driving licenses are issued in Kuwait Kuwait's Interior Ministry blamed the media for ‘blowing the issue out of context'   Foreign residents found to have obtained a driving license illegally will have it withdrawn and be prosecuted

Based on an Al-Rai newspaper report, Media outlets reported that more than 250,000 driving licenses of expats were expected to be canceled in Kuwait over the next few months.

Many reports mentioned that licenses were obtained by fraud or that there would be new conditions stipulated before re-granting driver licenses as part of a project to cancel old valid driving licenses and replace them with new ones.  

More than 3 million driving licenses are issued in Kuwait, and reports estimated that at least 1 million or these were fake ones. Reports finally indicated that renewals will not be issued pending further probes into the matter.

The country is trying to reduce car traffic and one member of parliament filed a motion to limit car ownership for foreign workers in the country to 2 per person.

License revoking at that scale untrue

Kuwaiti authorities have denied reports of banning the renewal of driving licenses of expatriates, dismissing such reports as “incorrect.”

The Interior Ministry blamed the media for ‘blowing the issue out of context.’  

It said there is no decision or circular issued to stop or withdraw expatriates’ driving licenses.

It explained that traffic authorities in coordination with the Department of Information Systems had carried out a “routine procedure” to update data of the issued driving licenses replacing the old documents with smart ones.

“Anyone among foreign residents found to have obtained the driving license illegally will have it withdrawn and be liable to legal action,” the ministry’s Security Media Department said.

The ministry said in a statement what happened was nothing but a routine procedure carried out by the General Department of Information Systems in coordination with the General Traffic Department to redevelop the system, update the data and run a check on all driving licenses issued after the Ministerial Resolution No.270/2020 was issued to ensure the recipients meet all conditions for replacing old licenses.

 

From December 26, the driving licenses of expats who have obtained illegally will be revoked while those who meet the conditions will be allowed to renew the license. The automated system verifies past and current profession, salary, and university degree.