How to get an international driving license

Posted by Mark

Getting an international driving license in Kuwait has to be one of the easiest things to do. It’s a very simple 15 minute process. There is more than one place in Kuwait to get this done but I went to an office that was located in Kuwait City, in the same building as Centro Electronics on the first floor. It’s on the corner right behind Souk Al Kabeer and the office is called Gulf Automobile Association.

All you need is a photocopy of your current Kuwaiti driving license (back and front), your civil ID copy (back and front), your passport copy (photo+name page). You also need two photos (3×6 size) and KD10. The international driving license costs KD8 and they charge you KD2 as a service fee.

Once you pass by the GAA office you give them the papers, they fill out a form and then ask you to wait a few minutes for them to type it up. Ten minutes later you leave with an international driving license. Pretty sweet. They’re open from 8:30AM to 1PM and then from 4:30PM to 8PM. For directions on how to get there, here is the [Map]


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50 comments, add your own...


  1. Hamad says:

    Used to be a great way of making a fake ID when in college. Just bribe the guy to change your date of birth to a year or two earlier!

  2. jossipi signori says:

    it’s good …. but why just one year ?

  3. Maxson says:

    Thanks a lot for this information. I wanted to get an international licence since a long long time.. Was just too lazy to find out the procedure.

  4. Mark says:

    I asked about the 1 year as well, told me is not up to them thats the rule that has been set internationally.

  5. intel says:

    do you have to be 21 or can you take at age 18?

  6. intel says:

    *take it

  7. Mark says:

    Not sure it doesn’t say but most car rental companies will only rent to 21 and up.

  8. Keith says:

    You can also get an international DL from KT which is opposite Safat Alghanim on the 4th ring road. I have been getting mine done there for the past 5 years. No trouble at all and the people are quite polite and friendly.

  9. Ansam says:

    I have been using my Kuwaiti Driver’s license when I travel with no problems at all. Its somehow considered international by itself. I used to do mine in KT but now I dont, nor my father or anyone I know. We used it in some countries in Europe and the States. Why did you get one anyways! Use your current one! Specially if it has your picture and info in English ;-)

  10. ElHaddad says:

    That is REALLY cheap. In Lebanon it costs $100!

  11. Hozefa Dahod says:

    Is this license is issued for expats ..?

  12. Maxson says:

    Mark, your website has been blocked by kems ( zajil ). I am using a proxy to open ur site and to contact you now.. Kindly check and resolve this matter

  13. ross says:

    Mark: How do we get a international motorcycle license?

  14. Mark says:

    ross: exact same procedure

  15. Mohd28 says:

    I stopped getting International driving licenses since Kuwait started to issue one with english info , also it used to cost about 2 KD , now if you look at the one you just got it will tell you that your Kuwaiti DL is good according to some 1954 or what ever agreement , the IDL is just a translation to your original DL .

  16. Mark says:

    Yeah its just a translation but i got it just in case the rental companies asks for it. Better to have it then to have my trip ruined because i didnt have it.

  17. Zack says:

    Mark do you have the phone number of the place?

  18. Mark says:

    22424745 or 22412158

  19. ross says:

    thanks!

  20. Nobu says:

    The Kuwaiti driver’s license works fine in Europe, rentals and all.

  21. Aliman says:

    Strange I got mine done for 3 years and they can do it for 5 years if i recall correctly at the place you do the triptic infront of Safat al Ghanim
    mine doesnt expire till the end of 2011 and i did it in July 2009, which i found great since most countries do it for only 1 year. while its more expensive, its much more practical!!

  22. Zack says:

    Thanks,

  23. wafra says:

    Not needed anymore, the Kuwait Drivers license work fine in USA, rentals and all

  24. Bigpapa says:

    sweet man !! i was just look for a place to get an int’l drivers licence for my trip to Tanzania & Kenya. Dude u r a life saver.

  25. shibi says:

    Do they accept Kuwait Driving license in the GCC- for an expat with kuwait residence and on visit visa to these countries? I have driven in UAE etc. with the Kuwait license but am not sure whether it is actually legal. Should I get an International Driving License?

  26. nirvana says:

    and they still don’t acknowledge that in sweet egypt!

  27. Marisa says:

    am moving to Qatar and have UK and Kuwaiti licences, but have been told that I can only drive for a couple of weeks once I arrive
    Does anyone know if the International Licence bypasses this problem?

  28. Bo9ale7 says:

    There is one travel agenecy in Al-Dowaliya complex behind Kuwait airways building that issues the same international license as well on the ground floor

  29. ali says:

    How do i get one of these in Saudi Arabia?

  30. nudorp says:

    Hey Mark,

    I’ve had a wee pickle earlier this evening, but since thy blog is read all the way back in Europe, I was able to divert to this post with a suggestion-‘If you need to know about GAA opening hours, check Mark’s blog’-as I was told :) Cheers for the post. Bring on the empire…Since we park in the same ‘parking garage’, I have had the chance the check out the lifted FJ, wicked job mate!!!

  31. Lighthouse says:

    Hey Guys..
    I just got my International Driving Permit from KT 2 days back .I had asked them if this was valid in US and they said yes. The problem is that in the list of countries mentioned under the ‘States Party to the convention of Road traffic’ US is not mentioned.
    Can anyone advice me on how to get a driving license for US. I have a valid kuwait driving license.

    • mehrullah khan says:

      yes In G.A.A which is situated in kuwait city just near kuwait liberation tower opposite municipality builfing Al-luhaib building no.2 ground floor samsung (centro) electronic and G.A.A. at First floor.In this International Driving Permit US is mentioned. here in G.A.A requires from customers 2 photos and Kuwait Driving License and passport copy just for English name only. thanks

  32. AbdulRahman says:

    Hello Mark
    thanks for posting this , it was extremely helpful … but the address is kinda not accurate on google map and it took me 30min to get there but as you said , they were fast , polite and helpful … thanks again for the post truly appreciate it .
    Have a nice day

  33. Hassan says:

    Hi Mark,

    Many thanks for the useful info. One of my Indian friend who is working in Kuwait is currently in South Africa on a business trip & he wanted me to apply for an International DL for him in KT Kuwait. Is it possible for me to apply IDL for him in Kuwait ?

  34. Wisam Hamadya says:

    Play it safe (below are EU law) read part two

    At the time of rental, the driver must present a valid national driver’s licence which has been held for at least 1 year. An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is required if your national driver’s licence is not in Roman script.

    An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is also mandatory by law for non-European Union renters except for customers from the following countries who can rent with their national driver’s licence and passport: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and United States.

    Please note that, if stopped by the Police while driving without an IDP, you might incur into a fine and the vehicle may be confiscated for 3 months. In this case, Hertz reserves the right to charge you the amount of the non-waivable excess applicable for the vehicle group.

  35. anand says:

    hi mark,
    Is IDL needed to drive in GCC (dubai) for a non kuwaiti with a valid kuwait driving license.

    • Mark says:

      I use my kuwaiti license to drive in dubai.

      • anand says:

        u r sure right that i can drive with kuwait license in dubai as im a non kuwaiti and the police is very strict in dubai, my license is new as it is below one year.
        will i get car for rent also with the kuwait license. so people say need international license for the rental companies

  36. AR says:

    FYI – The law in Dubai is that for non GCC nationals an International Drivers License is a requirement for car rental. Expats resident in GCC countries must have this for insurance to be valid and the rental legal.

    • Mark says:

      With the Kuwaiti license you can drive anywhere within the GCC. You don’t need an international license. And yes I’ve rented cars before :)

  37. AR says:

    Not true anymore …
    What You Need To Hire a Car in Dubai

    Residents of the United Arab Emirates must present a valid national driver’s licence which has been held for at least one year.

    Customers with the following national driver’s licence can drive in the United Arab Emirates without an International Driving Permit (IDP):

    Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece*, Ireland, Italy, Japan*, Korea*, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey* and United Stated of America.

    * Please note that customers from Greece, Japan, Korea and Turkey must present a valid translation of their licences approved by the Council or Embassy.

    All other customers must present a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) together with their national driver’s licence.

    In the event that no IDP is available, or if an IDP is available but no national driver’s licence, you will not be able to rent a vehicle.

  38. Malik says:

    Hi Mark

    I have an American driver’s license. I’ll be visiting Kuwait in 6 months. I am 19. I do not have an IDP or International Driver’s license.
    Can I drive in Kuwait legally with only my American DL? Or do I need to apply for an IDP?

  39. eagle says:

    At fahaheel its you can get international license from Kuwait International Automotive Club, its in the Red Tag building near to nasser sports.
    show your kuwait driving license and a photo of any color. they will issue in 5 minutes. for one year its 10 kd.

    • Century21 says:

      Thanks for the info. As mentioned, it is located at RED TAG building, 3rd Floor, Office No.9. I went there today at 4pm, but they start to open from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm for afternoon shift. For morning shift, they open till 12:30 pm.
      For the price: 1 year 10KD, 2 years 18KD, 3 years 24KD. So I go for 3 years and it is finished in 5 minutes. Great..!!!

  40. Jolits says:

    Hi Mark,

    I am filipino and i have Kuwait Driving license but dont have Philippine Driving license. Can i use Kuwait license in 1 month of my vacation in Philippines or do i have to apply for international driving permit? Thanks in advance.

  41. abby says:

    Hi mark,

    Will I get one international license for motorcycle and car because m carryin two different kuwait license one for car and other for bike. By jus paying 10 kd will I cover both for car and bike or has to be two different international license. Pls advise..

  42. lam says:

    Hi everyone. Does anyone has an official notice or website or information concerning driving with international license? All these info are diverted from renting companies I would like to relate formal information from Kuwait government for my colleague’s concern.

    Second I am aware that Kuwait is actually not in the list of Geneva convention. Does this mean actually Kuwait does not accept driving with international license?

  43. Fast 6 says:

    Hello as far as I know kuwait license is no more valid in UK.instead of that I used my Indian driving license.


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