Kuwait to ‘filter’ driving licenses issued to expats

Kuwait: Kuwait will begin to ‘filter’ driving licenses issued to expatriates, who make up the majority in the country, by reviewing the data of their holders and cancelling those of the unqualified licenses, local media from the gulf country reported on Tuesday.

The review aims to ensure that foreign driving license holders meet the requirements in terms of qualifications and wages.

In implementing the new system, the Ministry of Interior will coordinate with the Public Authority for Manpower, which maintains data on expatriates and can provide information on foreigners who have moved to new jobs and are therefore no longer eligible to keep their driving licenses.

Other disqualified holders include migrants who obtained their driver’s license to work as drivers, but later moved to a different job that did not meet the eligibility requirements.

“The driving licences will not be renewed unless they meet the requirements and if they don’t do, they will be invalidated,” Arabic daily Al-Jarida quoted a security source as saying.

The Ministry of Interior has reportedly said, without giving specific numbers, that a large group of expatriates had their driving licenses cancelled in recent months when they applied to renew them for the same reasons.

The Ministry of Interior will give enough grace period to apply the new measures to avoid crowding at the traffic departments.

Foreigners make up approximately 3.4 million of Kuwait’s total population of 4.6 million.

Kuwaiti had cancelled the driving licences of 32,000 expatriates in the first 10 months of 2021 on illegibility grounds. There has been a decrease of 43 per cent in issuing new driving licenses to expatriates from January to October 2021.