Effective September 1, 2024, violators cannot leave the country without paying fines Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Qatar's Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with traffic authorities, has issued guidelines for obtaining vehicle exit permits and settling traffic fines before departure.

As per the Qatar News Agency, starting from May 22, 2024, obtaining a permit from the General Directorate of Traffic is mandatory for motor vehicles leaving the country, subject to specific conditions.

  • The vehicle must be free from any outstanding traffic violations.
  • The final destination for the motor vehicle must be specified.
  • The applicant for the permit must be the owner of the vehicle or present valid proof thereof.

The ministry also outlined exemptions to the vehicle exit permit requirement, including vehicles bound for GCC countries. This exemption applies if the vehicle has no traffic violations and the driver is either the owner or has the owner's consent. Additionally, goods transporting vehicles are exempt from this requirement.

Exceptions for vehicle exit permits

Starting September 1, 2024, individuals with outstanding traffic violations will be unable to leave the country without settling their fines and dues. Payment options include the Metrash2 application, Ministry of Interior website, traffic sections, or unified service centers.

Settlement of traffic fines

The Ministry announced a 50% discount on traffic fines for all motor vehicles. The discount applies to violations issued within the last three years and is valid from June 1 to August 31, 2024.

Discount on traffic violations

Vehicles with Qatari plates outside the country must return within 90 days from the announcement date, unless a permit for prolonged absence is obtained. Failure to comply may result in legal actions, including administrative impoundment of the vehicle for up to 90 days.

Rules for vehicles returning to Qatar

Motor vehicles outside the country cannot renew their registration without undergoing technical inspection within Qatar. Failure to renew registration within the legal period (30 days from expiration) requires the return of license plates to the General Directorate of Traffic, with penalties outlined in the Traffic Law for non-compliance.

Renewal of vehicle registration

Starting May 22, 2024, buses with more than 25 passengers, taxis, and limousines are prohibited from using the left lane on road networks with three or more lanes in each direction.

Lane usage regulations

Delivery motorcycle riders must use the right lane on all roads, with lane changes permitted at least 300 meters before intersections. Non-compliance may lead to legal action as per Article 95 of the Traffic Law.

In addition, the ministry provided a detailed explanation of how to obtain vehicle exit permits, the consequences of violating the new regulations, methods for paying fines, and other relevant information.

Traffic rule highlights
• Vehicle exit permits:
* Required for all vehicles leaving the country, with exceptions for GCC-bound vehicles and goods transporters (no violations, owner/consent required).

* Permits obtained through the General Directorate of Traffic.

• Traffic fines: Effective September 1, 2024, violators cannot leave the country without paying fines via designated channels (Metrash2 app, Ministry website, etc.)

• Traffic discount: 50% discount offered on all traffic violations recorded within 3 years, from June 1 to August 31, 2024.

• Vehicles returning to Qatar:

* Vehicles outside Qatar must return within 90 days or obtain a permit for extended stay.
* Vehicles with exit permits must return before expiry or renew.
* Failure to comply may result in vehicle impoundment.
Additional Traffic Regulations:
• Buses with over 25 passengers, taxis, and limousines barred from left lanes on multi-lane roads.

• Delivery motorcycles mandated to stick to right lanes, with changes 300 meters pre-intersections.

• Failure to comply may result in legal action, including prosecution referral.