What to do when your Vehicle gets Impounded in Kuwait

With Kuwait recently breaking another world record, that for traffic related deaths on its streets, the MOI is actively pursuing reducing this alarming number.

The current scenario is as follows; you are driving your car along the streets of Kuwait, not a care in the world, you check your rear view and side view mirrors, you do not speed, you signal to take turns. All is right with the world.

All of the sudden, you are stuck in a long traffic queue, reasons unknown. As you slowly move forward, you realize the cause for this disturbance – a sturdiness checkpoint, set up by the police, whereby they proceed to ram the accelerator at full throttle, should your vehicle release any form of carbonic gas, you will be requested to hand over your license and follow the police car, along with other similar offenders in a sort of shame-chain, to which ever destination they so choose.

Upon arriving, you are requested to hand over your keys, at which point (or before) you are issued with a yellow traffic paper and asked to return to your place of work/ domicile.

Impounded cars are most likely to end up in one of the following locations (Depending on where the sting took place):

– Sabhan
– Amgarah
– Sharg
– Mina Abdulla
– Jabreya

Now comes the tough part. Firstly, any vehicle regardless of the year of its production will bellow out smoke if the accelerator is rammed full throttle, what the MOI should be doing is gauging the output under normal conditions via specialized equipment that is inserted into the tailpipe, much like a vehicular enema if you will:

Trust me, this image was found after a LONG, awful search

However, it is not for us to question how the MOI operate as most of the vehicles they request to test have been on the road for a very long time.

The point is, after this, you are required to do the following:

a) go within 2 days of having your vehicle impounded BACK to the place where you dropped it off.

b) there will be an office there where you will exchange the yellow traffic ticket for a printed out white sheet.

c) wait a day or so (3 tops) and go to the DMV which they inform you of in the previous step (or at the time your car was impounded) to pay the fine (most likely the one in Shuwaikh).

d) Head over to the DMV, pay the fine (15KD) and return with the receipt to release your vehicle, at which point you will be requested to have it show up for a retest, to ensure you fixed the problem.

You need to understand that the cogs of justice move ever slowly (especially since for every day’s detention, you are paying an additional 1KD or so on your vehicle for leaving it in their care), I personally witnessed the folly of attempting to finish this procedure off immediately, upon arriving at the DMV to pay the fine, you will be informed that the fine has not yet been entered onto the system, and will be requested to “come back tomorrow”. So spare yourself the hassle of leaving work every day, and just wait a few days.

And that is what you do.


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