Dubai: In a significant shift in policy, Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior has revamped rules regarding the issuance of driving licences. The First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and acting Minister of Defence, Sheikh Talal Al Khalid, issued Ministerial Decision No. 410 of 2023, amending several provisions of Resolution No. 81 of 1976 related to the executive regulations of the traffic law and its amendments.
The changes affect multiple types of licences.
‘Special market licences’ issued for driving private cars, taxis, and transport cars will now be valid for 15 years for Kuwaitis and GCC citizens, and one year for non-Kuwaitis.
‘General market licences’ are split into two categories: Category ‘A’ encompasses vehicles such as passenger transport vehicles with a capacity of more than 25 passengers and vehicles for transporting hazardous substances. Category ‘B’ includes passenger transport vehicles carrying between 7 to 25 passengers and transport vehicles with a load of more than 2 tons up to 8 tons. These licences will be valid for 10 years for Kuwaitis and GCC citizens and one year for non-Kuwaitis.
The revamped regulations also address motorbike licences. In Category ‘A’, the license covers all types of motorized bicycles and teaching motorized bicycle driving. Category ‘B’ permits driving all types of motorised bicycles with three or more wheels. For Kuwaitis and GCC citizens, the licence is valid for three years, while non-Kuwaitis receive a validity of one year.
As for licences for construction, industrial, agricultural, or tractor vehicles, the validity is three years for Kuwaitis and GCC citizens and one year for non-Kuwaitis.
A new type of licence called ‘special activity Market Licence’ has been introduced for all types of vehicles for specified service activities. This license, valid for one year, is cancelled if the owner changes his profession or cancels his residency in the country.
The Ministry has also introduced a salary requirement for obtaining a motorised bicycle licence. Applicants must have residency data and their salary should not be less than 120 dinars.
Further, specific categories have been excluded from the licence conditions mentioned above. Some of these categories include Kuwaiti wives, widows, or divorcees with children from foreign partners, husbands and children of Kuwaiti women, illegal residents with valid cards, housewives with children whose husbands hold a valid licence, members of diplomatic bodies, professional players at sports clubs, and government representatives, among others.
The revised rules, according to the Ministry, aim to standardise the licencing process and promote road safety. The new Ministerial Decision is effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.