Cairo: Expatriates driving without a valid licence in Kuwait could face deportation, a Kuwaiti newspaper has reported.
Citing a security source, it said all expatriates are required to make sure that their driving licences are valid via the government apps “My Identity” or “Sahel”.
“Even if certain expatriates are unaware that their driving licenses have been revoked, they are not exempt from facing penalties, which may include deportation,” stated the source.
Some 145 expatriates were deported from Kuwait last year for hitting the road without driving licences, according to the source.
“The interior ministry, represented by the General Department of Traffic, is revising driving licences,” the source said.
In December, Kuwait switched to electronic driving licenses for expatriates. Accordingly, expatriates can renew their licences electronically through the Ministry of Interior’s website or the “Sahel” app.
In late 2021, Kuwait unveiled a new system for issuing driving licences for expatriates, including vetting the holders’ data and revoking those of the ineligible ones. The revision aimed at ensuring that foreign holders of driving licences meet the requirements in terms of qualifications and wages.
More than 18,000 expatriates were deported from Kuwait in six months last year due to various violations of the country’s laws, including traffic infringements, a Kuwaiti official said last September.
Chief of Traffic Awareness Department Brig. Nawaf Al Hayan said a total of 18,486 expats had been deported from March to August.
He told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai that these infringements included high speed, driving past the red traffic signal, involvement in a road race, illegal transportation of passengers, driving in the opposite direction or without a licence.
Kuwaiti authorities withdrew driving licences from 34,751 expatriates for being ineligible to hold them during the January-August period, according to the official, who did not say if those foreigners were among the deportees.
Foreigners make up around 3.2 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.
Expatriates are now required to pay their outstanding traffic fines as well as communication bills before leaving Kuwait.