Driving in Kuwait

Updated by vera2019 on 18 September, 2017

If you arrive in Kuwait under a tourist visa, you can drive with a valid foreign or international driver’s licence. Once you have a resident visa, however, it is illegal to drive without a Kuwait driver’s licence. The process for obtaining a Kuwaiti driver’s licence varies depending on your visa status, education, occupation, and gender. If your visa is under the company you are employed by, your company should assist you in the process of getting a licence.

Necessary formalities

Make sure that all university degrees and driver's licences from your home country are attested before moving. This can speed up the process of obtaining your licence in Kuwait. If for any reason you are unable to complete this, your home embassy should be able to assist you once you're here but this might be a lengthier process.

Applying for a driver's licence

The general rule is that expats can apply for a driver's licence after they have been a resident of Kuwait for two years, hold a university degree, and earn a salary of KD 600 per month. However, there are many exceptions to this law. Certain professions allow you to be exempt from one, two, or all three of the above requirements. Exempted professions include doctors, engineers, and teachers. A full list of these professions can be found on the Arab Times website.

Driving exam

If you hold a doctoral degree, Kuwait awards a driver's licence with no further testing, except for a vision test. If you meet the above conditions without a doctoral degree, you are required to take both a written and skills driving test, which includes parallel parking. Kuwait provides a sample written exam on their website to help you prepare for the written portion of the test. The skills test needs to be completed during regular working hours, which usually means taking a day off work. In addition to the written and skills tests, driver's must also pass a health screening.

You can either pay to use a vehicle for the skills portion or use your vehicle. If a friend is available to take you to the exam, you can borrow their car to complete the skills portion. Once you've passed both parts of the exam, the driver's license takes between one to two weeks to be processed.

Women are allowed to drive in Kuwait. Per the above-listed conditions, if a woman holds a spousal visa and the couple doesn't have children, she will not be allowed to apply for a driver's licence until she has been a resident in Kuwait for two years.

If a police officer stops someone driving without a valid Kuwait driver's licence they have the authority to confiscate the vehicle and deport the driver.

Useful Links:

Kuwait Ministry of Interior Requirements for Driver's License

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