How to Renew Your Driving License in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Yesterday I got my driving license renewed for the first time in like a decade. Previously they’d renew the license for 10 years but now its year by year which is super annoying but whatever, there isn’t anything I can do about it. What I wanted to write about was the required documents you need to renew your license, and the process you have to go through at the traffic department since the information on is inaccurate. This way if anyone is googling information, they’ll hopefully end up on this page. So lets begin.

Required Documents:
– Civil ID Copy
– Passport Copy (photo page and visa page)
– Work Permit Copy
– Your Company’s Notarized Signatures (e3timad tawkee3)
– Two Personal Photos, Blue Background 6×4
– Your Expired License

Once you have all your documents head to the traffic department near you, I live in Salmiya so I headed to the traffic department in Jabriya. As an expat I can only renew my license in the afternoon starting from 4PM. Get there early. On arrival first thing you need to do is go to the typists who are usually located near the main entrance. Tell them you want to renew your license and hand them all your paperwork. They’ll type out the correct form with your details and then staple all the documents together. They’ll charge KD1 for this process not including making copies of any documents. You could ask them what you have to do next and they’ll point you in that direction.

The next step is to hand your paper over to the license renewal desk (it’s marked) and in my case was located inside the main hall of the traffic department. Make sure you don’t have any fines, if you do they’ll make you go settle them first. If you don’t have any fines they’ll print out a paper for you stating that. The next step is to get your documents signed by the officer in charge. The officer wasn’t at his desk when I went so they told me to go to another officer outside the main hall sitting at the front desk. When I went there I swear there was a queue with around 100 people in it. I couldn’t see the end of the line kind of queue and I’m not exaggerating. While standing there in shock and regretting not bringing my Nintendo Switch with me, I spotted an officer nearby so I went up to him just to make sure this was the line I had to stand in. So I went up to him and in English asked him where I should get this signed. He told me he doesn’t speak English, then I pointed at the document and he said go stand in that line. So I pointed to the line and was like this line?? He then asked me if I had my old license with me, and I showed him, then he asked to see a few other documents which I showed him. He then told me to get a KD1 stamp which I did. He stuck the stamp on my form, took all the documents, went behind the desk and had the officer there sign my document. That was super nice of him and I got to avoid standing in line for an hour. So good luck with this step.

Once you have the documents signed you head over to the driving license renewal desk again and hand them the papers. You’ll now have to sit and wait for your name to be called out. If your license is already expired then they’ll call your name out and tell you to go pay a KD5 fine. This fine will only pop-up at this stage, you can’t get it paid before the process. Once you pay the fine you come back and give your papers again. After a short while they’ll call your name again and send you to a room to get your photo taken. Once you get it taken you’ll have to wait for your license to get printed.

When I was there yesterday they were having technical issues with the license printing machine so I had to wait two hours to get my license printed. The employees actually stayed late after their working hours to make sure everybody got their license printed including the main officer. They were pretty apologetic about the delay. Thankfully there was a Formula 1 race taking place last night, and so I got to watch it live on my phone while I waited which wasn’t too bad.

So there you have it, this is what you need to do to renew your license.

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42 comments, add your own...

  1. dfine says:

    Thanks God mine expire in 2024…

  2. aaa says:

    I cannot figure out why they decided to add more paperwork in 2017

  3. Amro says:

    Congratulations that you finished but i think the form need to be signed by sponsor ( i dont know why but this is which happened with me ) and some traffic departments as the capital traffic department which is front of Rigaee asking to bring the company mandoub.

  4. Umair Shaikh says:

    Gud Info… Thanx. BTW, most of the time u get lucky to avoid big queues / lines. Lucky You.

  5. AMT says:

    Dear Mark,

    Well you are in luck, two weeks back i issued my motorcycle license, as usual after passing the test u need to print the license but only the next day which for sure made no sense!! We were three friends together and went the next day to issue it!! After waiting for 2 hours with all the procedures you mentioned above except for the photo, i got mine issued and my other friends had to come the next day as early as 7 am to be able to print the license card because they only PRINT 50 LICENSES PER DAY be it driving or riding!! To make it short the next day one of my friend issued it and the other one was not able to print his until three days later!!!

  6. Renju says:

    Mabrook Habibi.. Meanwhile, you went to the new office or the old one near to the Gym?

    Can you please share the location of the new one, if you have gone there?

  7. Mustafa says:

    This application should be signed by the Employer (kafeel) before we proceed to MOI office

  8. jasem says:

    sorry if this comes across as racist but do kuwaitis also have to renew their license every year in this way? or is it just an expat thing? cause in the states only non american citizens have to go back to the dmv to renew while americans can just do it online and get it by mail

    • Mark says:

      only expats, so if your residency is 1 year, u get 1 year license, if its 2 years you get 2 years license. Previously it was every 10 years. I can’t believe I need to go through this again next year…

      • jasem says:

        oh shit sorry to hear that. it was the same for me in the states, whenever my visa expired i had to go renew my license regardless of when the actual license expired

  9. anthonyrod says:

    Thanks Mark for the detailed info.
    I don’t understand why the e-gov site never updates the info – really does cause more confusion & crazy hassle when you reach the ministry office… and for someone not speaking Arabic – it’s hell running around with no proper guide :(

  10. Muzz says:

    What are the official timings? 4-7 PM or 4-8 PM?

  11. Yudo says:

    It will be if somebody can write the same experience for the Asima office

    • Mark says:

      its most likely a similar process

      • Karim says:

        maybe same process, however it requires much more time in Farwaniya for example….. it took me 6 hrs in total over 2 day !!! i had to wait for like 3 hrs for someone to tell me that i need to do eye test first!!!
        my bad luck… as you can renew license where it was issued first time …. mine was Dajeej and I’ve been told that i cannot change it :(

  12. Tester says:

    Just a quick note, you have to go to the traffic department where you originally got your first license issued. If you end up going to one which didn’t originally issue your license, they will tell you to leave and go to there.

  13. rosy says:

    I had to do the eye test. Not sure why some people are exempted.

  14. Dun says:

    So they require two 4×6 photos. But when you get there they take a digital photo.

    You can’t make up this kind of stupid. Its a real talent!

  15. Meshx86 says:

    Mean while in another universe, you can renew your driving license online (if you don’t wear prescription glasses) and get it by mail.

  16. sebastian says:

    I really don’t understand why it can’t be done online or why this un necessary paper work when this same issue is done every year

  17. simple_man says:

    What if your sponsor is MOD?

  18. M says:

    Can you make a guide on how to get your drivers license for the first time ?

    • Mark says:

      Not gonna be possible since I already have a license so can’t go through the process of getting one again for the first time.

      • crazykwt says:

        If the current rumors turn out correct, all expat licenses will be cancelled.. You will have to apply again! You can post the new license application process then!! LOOL!!

        Of course, the moon will also have to turn blue! ;-)

  19. skip town says:

    thank you Mark I find this very informative as mine expires 02/02/2019. but like everything in Kuwait it’s subject to change..

  20. meh says:

    And this is how we make expat’s life miserable and in the process make them leave therefore solve the traffic problem.

  21. Yousef says:

    So glad you made it out this easy. AL AHMADI Traffic Department for renewals is a shit show!

  22. q8_lucky says:

    Hopefully it will be trasformed into e-service soon. So you can at least do some of the steps online.

  23. Gus says:

    They are actually working on automating this process. An RFP was issues by UNDP in Kuwait (supporting MOI) a while ago and its currently being awarded to one of the 3 companies that bid. So hopefully within a year this process can be completed on the web or via Kiosks.

  24. BraveArc says:

    Where in Jabriya is this new location?
    I renewed mine last year and when I went around today, it’s not there anymore. Need to renew by tomorrow. :/

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