You Do Not Want to Renew Your Drivers License

Post by Mark

Previously, whenever you renewed your driving license it would get renewed for 10 years. I’m not really sure when that law changed, but now you have to renew it every year. Last year it took me 2 hours to get my license renewed, and that’s after I got super lucky when an officer ended up signing my papers for me without me having to wait in a line that was easily 100 people long.

I usually get all my car related paperwork done at the Jabriya Traffic Department. They’re really organized and every year when I go to renew my car registration, they would have changed something to make the experience smoother and faster. I was expecting the license renewal process to be easier this year because of that but boy was I wrong.

The line when I passed by yesterday to renew my license was crazy crazy long! The picture above was taken as I was walking to the back of the line, around half way to the back (check map above for exact location). The line stretched down a super long corridor and then turned around the corner because it was so long and it wasn’t even people standing in a single file, it looked like a complete mess.

Clearly the traffic department isn’t capable of handling this many renewals, so why don’t they just revert to the older system and have people do this once every 10 years? I ended up leaving but now I’m trying to figure out if I should get there early and line up or what exactly. The renewal for expats only starts at 4PM and they only take so many requests before telling everyone to come back the following day and line up again. So stressful!

Update: A reader just told me about a company that can handle your license renewal process as well as other things. They charge KD10 to renew your license which I think is so worth it. Here is a link to the [Flyer]

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68 comments, add your own...

  1. lolguy says:

    What is the cost difference from back when it was renewed every 10 years compared to now?

  2. Najjar says:

    We started working on renewing my mom’s license last week. Started standing in that line last Tuesday, and only managed to finish renewing yesterday.

    Every day from 4:00pm in that line, and by 5:30 or 6 pm and officer comes in and sends everyone home because either the system is down or just because ..

    • Mark says:

      were u getting there at 4 or earlier? I’m curious if I can get there at like 3:30 and wait in line until 4.

      • Najjar says:

        Usually around 4:10 – 4:20 and it’s crowded as hell

      • V.I.P says:

        Got my license renewed last week. u can come in before 4pm (I reached arnd 3:30pm) and stand in the line. There’s an ‘other’ line inside too to submit ur papers (after getting the sticker).

      • Sam says:

        Hey Mark,

        I live right next to the traffic Department, Got to know how the process works.

        You can be there as early as 2pm. There will be a list on which you need to write your name. At around 3:30pm, the officer will head out and start calling out.

        It took me 3 hours altogether to get the license done.

        I would recommend pack up few snacks in case you get hungry.

        I went through it about 3 weeks ago.

  3. Mustapha says:

    Your license renewal is actually linked to your residency validity, so if you have a residency with 2 or 3 years, your license can have the same validity.

    • Kuwait says:

      I confirm this information.

    • Nouhette says:

      Well, nobody has a residency of more than one year nowadays !

      • NG says:

        Not true. I can confirm that many people have 2 year residency.

        • James says:

          Doesn’t matter, even if you renew your residency for two years, when you head after that to renew your license, its “lesser” than 2 years (even though by a few days) and they give you only one year

      • PHASER says:

        I have every time renewed my visa for 3 years…

    • NG says:

      Yes, unfortunately that’s the harsh and stupid reality.

      Also, it defeats the whole purpose of GCC wide validity. E.g. one could convert a Kuwaiti DL to a Bahrain one (or vice versa) if you change countries. But if Kuwait links to residency then your DL will automatically expire once you leave Kuwait. How are you supposed to convert it in that case?

  4. Raz says:

    Hopefully it improves when ever they allow renewing driving licenses online

  5. Lewi says:

    Well, I heard that in July 2018 the government will launch a online process to renew the driving license, which I really hope happens sooner than later.
    Jabriya Traffic department is a heaven in comparison to Farwania.
    You should try visiting Farwania and see how they treat the applicants!

    • Mark says:

      sadly i can’t wait till july :(

      • Lewi says:

        A temporary solution is very very simple to implement:
        You can make two options:
        -1KD per year option, stand in the line if you are willing to…
        -5KD per year option, express line with a dedicated processing team to boost the process speed.
        This would help a lot of people!
        I personally am willing to pay more money in order not to waste 3 working days just to renew the driving license for one year!

        • Adel says:

          for espress line 5 KD to low, suppose to be minimum 50 KD. Now is it still OK for you?

          • Lewi says:

            How did you assume that 50KD price ?
            Did you check the difference in price between Car inspection in government vs in Daman or such companies ? the service charge is 10KD, and that service includes ACTUAL checkup of the whole car.
            In addition, you will be serviced in a place that actually has services while you wait, like a cafeteria, ATM .. etc
            Why would you expect a 50KD extra for an express lane where the only thing being done is checking your papers and your work permit?

        • tannous ghosn says:

          There ARE no 2 lines! Where did you get this information.

          • Mark says:

            i think he means once you get your papers signed outside there is a second line inside the hall to hand in your papers. not that long, around 10-15 people long.

        • Dinesh Kumar Pal says:

          Hi Lewi if you are willing to pay KD 5 then I recommend you pay more KD 5 and hand over youe all documents to Public Servises Company alias KHADMAT EXPRESS and relax no need to standing in que. they will bring back renewed licens within two working days. more than this if you willing to pay then use VVIP servicesof same company they will collect ur licens and delier ur door step. for that also they will charge KD 10 so total you have to pay in 21KD

    • Kuwait says:

      I hope online doesn’t mean you take an appointment or a time slot which is not practical from the passport renewal experience. Since the volume of renewal requests is so big you’ll have to start requesting an appointment a few months before the actual expiry. The best method would be similar to renewing the Civil ID which can be done online (or by telephone) where you are not required to come and all documents if any needed are uploaded as attachments and basically you just go once to pick it up from the machine.

  6. Sunny says:

    there is an agency that does renewal for you… but you have to pay KD 10/-

    Khadamat Express, located in South Surra, Ministries Area

    timing from 8:00 Am to 9:00 PM

    you can call them on 22252225

  7. Kuwait says:

    Why not just take 10 KD (or even 20 KD) for the 10 years, this way no one has to see their face, nor they have to see ours! Win-win situation!

    More money for the GDP, less time wasted, less expats driving wandering around on roads for sh*t works, less traffic, Lady-MP happy happy!

    • Lewi says:

      The whole reason behind linking the driving license to the residence, is to control and LIMIT the amount of expat drivers, presumably to enhance traffic.
      This way, if you leave the country for a year or two, your license will be expired. And once you come back to Kuwait with a new visa, you will have to go through the whole process of issuing a new driving license, which for most occupations, requires you to pass two years in the country.

      • Kuwait says:

        “This way, if you leave the country for a year or two, your license will be expired.”

        So for the 1% folk who exit and re-enter the country, the rest of the residents suffer like in that pic posted above? Makes perfect sense.

        • Lewi says:

          Also, for Driving licenses issued after 2013 I think, if you change your occupation, and your new occupation doesn’t permit you to have the driving license, they will withdraw the license from you..

          That’s official…

    • Mo says:

      LADY MP happy happy loooooool

  8. Dfine says:

    Ok, so we all know they want to reduce traffic and reduce the amount of expats who has license.
    Now I don’t know if I am the stupid one, but wouldn’t the new rule just increase traffic, specially to Jabryia?

    Instead of going only one time to renew every 10 years, you have to go every year. The outcome is the same, your gonna get your license.

    On a same note, while KSA is allowing women to drive, something I believe is human right to do, Kuwait is prohibiting people.

    I don’t have another license than my Kuwait one, because Norway don’t allow me to have two… So I better move home, like the rest of the western expat’s, who had enough of this BS.

    • T Ross says:

      So I better move home, like the rest of the western expat’s, who had enough of this BS. – It seems the majority of us think the same.

  9. Abdul says:

    Why doesn’t your sponsor go with you so they can jump the line?
    I went with one of my employees went to th front of the line then caught the manager coming out of their office – chatted him up – he signed – front of another line, then finished.
    But then again I’m a woman…..

    • LuLu says:

      Funny enough, I had to renew my license today as well.

      I got into a fender bender and couldn’t find my license (it’s been missing for months) but the popo were nice enough to give me enough time to run around to get a new one. I reported it as missing/lost and got a new one, lickity split. So there’s a nice little shortcut for ya’.

      My license photo makes me look exactly like a Goomba! I think I’m going to use that same photo for when I renew my passport as well :D

  10. Logic says:

    So what you do is you count how many people in line at 4 pm.
    Figure out how many people on average you can process.
    Next week, at 5pm or whatever time is calculated tell ppl to go home and not line up.
    Those in line get processed.
    Its like that at the us DMV. You go there but at around 3 pm they close the doors and no one gets to line up. People inside can finish thier job.

    Its too careless and unempathetic and unresponsible to just let people line up day after day and turn them away. What is this the meat packing line from the jungle by upton sinclair?

  11. Mishal F A Abul says:

    How come we dont have these simpLe issues in the states? LOL

  12. vampire says:

    Kuwaiti ppl should be banned from commenting in this post

    مندوب is ur friend :)

  13. Mustafa says:

    Please share your experience with ‘Khadamat’ once you complete the process…

  14. Ronny Joger says:

    Is there a law which states that expats only renew their license in the evening?
    I have always gone to renew my license in the morning slot (Jabriya) and no one has ever stopped me otherwise (Im an Indian expat).
    I had my license made in 2015(when I came to Kuwait) and hence have always had the hassle of yearly renewals and have always gone at 930am and by 11am I am out. Luckily, I leave this country for better pastures.

  15. Dear 248am,

    I believe my organization, Khadamat Express is the organization that you are referring to which can process government documents (e.g. drivers license, renew residence, medical insurance to name a few). We would like to invite you at a convenient date to a soft opening in our new head office in South Surra and give you a tour of our services.

    Please email me for further details.

    Maram Johar.

    Marketing Manager
    Khadamat Express

  16. zaydoun says:

    This is so wrong , embarrassing, depressing on so many levels. It is NOT what we want our country to be

  17. K B says:

    It’s such a shame. Kuwait is so backwards in so many things it’s Shocking.

    It’s 20F**Kn18 and people have to go through this shit still haha.

    Seriously, there are better facilities and services in villages of Europe & Asia than there are in Kuwait.

    Like basic stuff, renewing driving license, civil id, etc.

    While other countries are trying to go the Moon, here we are dwelling over basic shit.

  18. Lu says:

    Maybe I wasn’t clear the first time.

    In Arabic the proper term is “Badal Faaqid”. Not sure what it’s called in English though, soz!

    Can’t you guys report it as stolen/lost to speed up the process?

  19. solomon says:

    I’m so lucky to be on of the last to get the 10 year driving license. Am set till 2024!

  20. Ayaan says:

    How early in advance can the license be renewed?

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