KUWAIT: Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah said expats hold a total of 1,664,000 valid driving licenses, while those issued to Kuwaitis only number 624,000. Responding to an inquiry by MP Ahmed Al-Fadhl about roaming taxis and the driving licenses given to each sector, Sheikh Khaled said the total number of vehicles registered to Kuwaitis is 1,039,000, while those owned by expats number only 616,000. He added 22,000 driving licenses of Kuwaitis and 15,000 of expats were withdrawn for committing severe traffic violations.

Sheikh Khaled elaborated that licenses held by Kuwaitis include 607,000 private licenses, 10,000 general, 6,400 for bikes and 146 for construction machinery, while those issued to expats include 909,000 general licenses, 730,000 private ones, 6,200 for bikes and 18,000 for construction machinery. Sheikh Khaled strongly denied the presence of any fake learning permits, noting that a few applications suspected to include fake documents were detected and referred to relevant authorities.

He also noted that the interior ministry and the manpower authority are electronically linked to verify applicants’ job titles and minimum salary conditions for expats. “Degrees are verified through applicants’ embassies and the foreign ministry,” he affirmed. Finally, Sheikh Khaled explained that licenses issued to expat drivers and mandoubs are cancelled if they change their profession or their residencies expire. “If an expat returns to Kuwait, they can file a new application for a license after two years,” he added.

By A Saleh