Traffic Fines & Offences
Traffic violations are a common occurrence in Kuwait. Although there is a comprehensive list of violations and their respective fines/jail time, one wonders how rigorously the traffic laws are actually policed. It seems as though drivers of every nationality are permitted to break speed limits and drive recklessly, use the emergency lanes on motorways, and park illegally.
The current listed fines are KD 5 for illegal parking, KD 20 – 50 for exceeding the speed limit, KD 10 for driving without a licence and KD 10 for not wearing a seat belt. Jumping a red light will cost you KD 50 and driving with tinted windows will cost KD 10. Tinting of windows to any degree is now completely banned, even for citizens.
If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol the consequences can be severe and expatriates face a fine, custodial sentence and/or deportation. It simply is not worth drinking and driving. You will not be given any support by your company and you will lose your job.
Traffic fines are not sent to your address. They accumulate at the traffic department and are payable prior to re-registration of a vehicle. It is possible to pay traffic fines at a police station prior to re-registering a vehicle. You can also check for traffic fines online via the Ministry of Interior website. Non-Arabic speakers will find it impossible to navigate from the homepage though, so try entering the (very long) web address exactly as it appears here, (http://188.8.131.52/moieservices.nsf/MOIViolIndividual), then type your Civil ID number in the box to see a list of all the fines due.
Should you have your residence permit cancelled and attempt to leave Kuwait without paying traffic fines, you will be stopped at the airport and not allowed to travel until payments are made. It’s not possible to pay fines at the airport; you will have to go to the traffic department and do so in person.
There are two types of speed camera in operation. Static cameras are mounted on central reservations on the expressways and other major roads, and at a number of major intersections. They very rarely flash, even if you are doing 140km/h. However, don’t be too complacent; you’ll only get caught out! Mobile cameras are mounted in the rear window of small jeeps and are moved around Kuwait. They are usually located at underpasses on expressways and are always manned.