Posted by Mark
Today morning I went with Nat and the mandoob from TriStar to get our motorbike learners permit. I don’t know what mandoob is in English, but he is basically the guy who helps out with government paperwork. Todays experience like most government related work was exhausting, and the terrible humid weather didn’t help.
I picked up the mandoob at 9:30 and we headed to the Hawlly Traffic Department located in Jabriya. First place we went to inside was the typing room, there you give some guys your documents and for 1KD they fill out the forms for you on the computer and then print them out. Once we got the forms we headed into another much larger room filled with chairs and numbered booths. We headed to the very far end where we waited inline to get our papers signed by a high ranking police officer. This guy was very nice, he took a look at Nats form and he was like in English “you want to drive bicycle?” she was like yeah I want to ride a motorbike. He then proceeded to explain to her how driving in Kuwait is not easy and that if you are in a car its really dangerous so you can imagine how dangerous riding a bike is. He was like I could sign this paper for you if you want but I wouldn’t recommend it, she told him sign it please and he did. After that he told us we needed to go to Qurtoba to get an eye test so we left the place and headed there.
Once we got to Qurtoba I was worried I would fail the eye test. My vision isn’t perfect, I wear glasses when I am in front of the computer but I should be wearing them the whole time. Nat also has glasses which she wears in front of the computer and TV so she was worried she would fail too. So we go into the building and give in our forms and wait for our turn. 5 minutes later they call Nats name and she goes in for the test. A minute later she comes out telling me she passed although she made a mistake, her score was 24/6 for her left eye and 6/6 for her right. They called my name next and I went in. I don’t think I have seen an older eye test setup before. You sit in an old wooden school chair on one side of a room with a tall white plastic lamp behind you with the letters stuck onto it. You look ahead into a mirror stuck on the wall, cover an eye and read out the letters. It was really easy since they let me read out the big sized letters so I aced it with a score of 6/6 for both eyes. They signed the papers and we headed back to Hawally.
The weather was incredibly hot and humid and traffic was a bitch but we got to the traffic department and went back into the big room again back to the nice high ranking cop. He looked at the papers and told us to go to counter number 1. I get to counter 1 show him my papers only to have them rejected. The guy told me because I got my eye test today I needed to come back tomorrow to get the learners permit. I told him why do I have to do that, can’t I just get the permit done today? He was like come back tomorrow. So we were leaving the place when the high ranking cop asks us if we were done. I told him what the guy at counter 1 told us, he seemed irritated at the guy and took out some stamps from his pocket and stamped and signed out papers. He told us we needed to get a 10KD postage stamp and head over to counter 7. We got the stamps and headed to counter 7 where a guy took all our papers and filled them into the computer. He then told us to go get our pictures taken at the far end of the room.
There was a young woman sitting in a small room with a computer, a scanner and a small Canon digital camera attached to a cheap tripod. She told us to sit on the chair in front of the camera and she took our pictures. She then sent us back to counter 7. We got there and the guy started printing out our learners permit on his HP color laser printer. Although all the equipment they were using were off the shelf consumer electronics it was still cool that they were doing this. Finally the guy sent us to office 20, yes office, thats where the highest ranking official is located, we gave him our freshly printed learners permit and he signed it and we were done.
The whole process took around 2 hours and cost us KD11 per person. I am not sure but I am guessing this is the same process for getting cars learner permit. Below you will find some helpful information like papers needed and google map of the locations.
Papers needed for motorbike learners permit:
- 2 photographs, 3×4
- Work permit copy
- Passport copy (picture and visa page)
- Civil ID copy
- Driving license copy (if you dont have it then I believe you are required to do a medical test)