Bahrain – MPs plan to force expats to renew driving licences every 2 years is rejected

The General Directorate of Traffic has rejected a proposal that would force expatriate drivers to renew their driving licences every two years, along with their residency permits, instead of every five years as currently the case for all drivers.

The proposal by MPs Jalal Kadhim and Ghazi Al Rahma  was rejected by the General Directorate of Traffic, that claimed such a bill would impose additional financial burdens on expats as well as violate their basic rights.

in a written reply to the MPs, the General Directorate of Traffic stated:

“The bill didn’t specify which type of driving licenses are to be biennially renewed. The Traffic Law and its regulations mention more than one type of driving licenses, in accordance with the vehicles driven. The traffic system in the Kingdom stipulates that driving licenses must be renewed every five years. A period that is considered appropriate by the General Directorate of Traffic. Renewing driving licenses every two years is an additional financial burden on expats. The bill harms the rights of non-Bahraini drivers to obtain driving licenses,”

The General Directorate of Traffic added; “the bill discriminates between the rights of Bahraini and non-Bahraini drivers, against the Kingdom’s policies to protect rights and freedoms.”

The matter was referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee for further study.

MP Kadhim Justified his proposed bill by saying that linking the validity periods of residency permits and driving licenses would contribute to solving irregularities and increase state revenues.

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