By B Izzak and Faten Omar
KUWAIT: The traffic department said on Sunday that driving licenses of expats will now be renewed for only one year, down from three years at present. The decision went into effect on April 26, 2023. The department however said driving licenses of expats working as domestic drivers will be renewed for three years. Major Abdullah Bu Hasan, who announced the decision, did not say why they reverted to the one-year validity for the licenses.
But the interior ministry said several weeks ago that it is reviewing hundreds of thousands of driving licenses issued to expats to ensure they were issued in accordance with the law, amid reports alleging widespread corruption. Local media said thousands of licenses held by expats are likely to be canceled.
Kuwait applies strict requirements for expats who wish to obtain a driver’s license. These include the expat should draw a monthly salary of at least KD 600, must have a university degree and must have stayed legally in the country for at least two years. Several professions like judges, engineers, doctors and others are exempted from these conditions.
Driving licenses for expats used to be valid for as long as 10 years in the past. Later, its validity was linked to the validity of their residency. The traffic department then reduced the validity to just one year for several years, before extending the validity to three years again in 2020.
Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem on Sunday sent out invitations to MPs and
the government to attend the regular Assembly session on Tuesday and Wednesday. The government however is not expected to attend the session after HH the Amir said two weeks ago he intends to dissolve the Assembly, which was dissolved in August last year, but was reinstated by a constitutional court ruling. The agenda of the session includes allowing members of the new government to take the oath to become members of the Assembly if the session takes place.
Meanwhile, judges from the constitutional court on Sunday brought some documents related to the 2022 Assembly elections which were annulled by the court on March 19. The judges also sealed the ballot boxes that include all votes cast by Kuwaiti voters.