Confusing News: What is the deal with Expat Driving Licenses “Ban” in Kuwait?

The expat agenda thickens further.

It is certainly a tough time in Kuwait to be an expat; every check on the e.gov website has expats jumping for joy as if winning the lottery, when it is merely the result of their query on their civil ID to find that they are violation free. The anticipation as the page loads however is reminiscent of the seconds before your exam results when you have literally studied nothing.

This expat gets his new from several sources in order to gauge authenticity; however, when certain headlines conflict it is quite the cause for concern.

On the one you have ArabianBusiness.com (link) citing Kuwait Times as their source and stating that Kuwait has implemented a freeze on issuing new driving licences for expatriates until further notice.

The announcement was made by Interior Ministry Assistant Undersecretary Major General Abdulfattah Al Ali, who said that the only exceptions would be for household drivers on specific visas, the Kuwait Times daily reported.

Kuwait Traffic

 

The ban would remain in place until changes are made to the current regulations for expatriates to obtain new driving licences.

(Does this mean they are considering the new pricing scheme of 100KD for renewal etc?)

However, you then have Arab Times (link) stating that Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Major General Abdul Fattah Al-Ali has instructed the citizens service centers to stop the issuance of driving licenses and learners’ permits to expatriates, except the domestic drivers under visa 20, report Arabic dailies. With this directive, expatriates must complete their transactions only in the traffic departments, not the citizens service centers.

Which quite honestly makes sense; they are citizens service centers, expatriates are residents NOT citizens ergo, what is the problem?

However, before jumping to the conclusion that residents with wasta run to citizen service centers to avoid long queues, take note:  the centers have also been found to be issuing driving licenses or learners’ permits to housemaids on grounds that they also hold Article 20 visas. He pointed out housemaids do not work as drivers; hence, the issuance of driving licenses and learners’ permits to them is a clear violation of the law.

So it is not your everyday expat on his way to work that is being highlighted in this issue; it is domestic help, meaning the violators of the law are their sponsors.

The term expat is too widely thrown around and causes much confusion.

Investigative Bloggerism at its finest.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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