Drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti License and Conversion Process

drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti License

If you’re wondering whether you can drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti license, the answer is yes, you can. However, the rules and requirements may vary depending on the nature of your stay and your visa status. Today, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview to drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti license.

Drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti License

Regarding the question, “Can you drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti License?” the answer is a definite yes, and you won’t need an international driving permit from Kuwait either. The validity of your Kuwaiti license in Bahrain depends primarily on your visa type.

Driving on a Visit Visa

Your Kuwaiti driving license remains valid when you’re in Bahrain on a visit visa. This means you can drive both rented and private vehicles without the need for extra paperwork or processes. This convenience ensures that tourists and short-term visitors from Kuwait can easily drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti License without any complications.

Driving with a Permanent Work Visa

However, if you find yourself in Bahrain with an employment visa or have applied for permanent residency, the situation differs. In such cases, you’ll need to apply for a new Bahrain driving license.

The positive news is that Bahrain’s licensing authorities offer this license without requiring a driving test, as long as you hold a valid Kuwaiti driving license.

Converting UAE License to Bahrain License

If you’re looking to convert your Kuwaiti driving license to a Bahraini license, here’s how you can go about it:

Required Documents

To start the process of converting your Kuwaiti license to a Bahraini one, you’ll need to collect the following documents:

  1. A copy of your CPR (Central Population Registry) card, with both the front and back sides.
  2. A copy of your valid Kuwaiti driving license, with both the front and back sides.
  3. A copy of your passport (only if requested).
  4. One passport-sized photograph.

These documents are essential for your application and should be provided when you apply for the license conversion.

Availability and Age Requirement

You can obtain your driving license at the General Directorate of Traffic in Isa Town, and they are open during these hours:

  • Sunday to Thursday: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM

It’s essential to note that in Kuwait, the minimum age for applying for a driving license is 18 years.

Step-by-Step Process for License Conversion

After you’ve collected all the required documents, you’re prepared to start the process of converting your Kuwaiti license to a Bahraini one. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating this procedure:

Step 1: Visit the Driving License Issuing Office

Your first step is to go to the Driving License Issuing office, which is the General Directorate of Traffic located in Isa Town. Ensure you have your original Kuwaiti driving license, CPR, and passport with you.

Step 2: Get and Complete the Application Form

When you arrive at the information counter, present your original documents. The staff will verify them and give you an application form. Complete this form with your personal information.

Step 3: Take an Eye Test

After filling out the form, return it to the counter. The staff will guide you to the eye testing area. Once you’ve finished the eye test and received approval, return to the information counter.

Step 4: Receive a Token for the Licensing Department

You will be provided with a token at the information counter to meet the Licensing Department staff. Attach the necessary documents mentioned earlier to your completed form and wait for your token number to be called.

Step 5: Make the Payment

When your token number is called, submit your documents for review. Following this, you will be requested to make a payment of BD 26.500. You can do this either at the machine near the information area or directly through a card-swiping machine.

Step 6: Receive Your Bahraini Driving License

In just under 10 minutes, you will be given your Bahraini driving license, along with a driving manual from Bahrain. Please be aware that your Kuwaiti driving license will be kept and exchanged for the Bahraini one. This process applies to both Kuwait and Bahrain.

Step-by-Step Process for License Conversion

Renting a Car in Bahrain with a UAE License

If you’re visiting Bahrain and intend to rent a car, you may have the question, “Can I rent a car and drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti license?” The answer is yes, you can. Here’s what you should be aware of:

Eligibility to Rent a Car

If you’re in Bahrain on a visit visa, you can rent a car with your valid Kuwaiti driving license. This is a convenient choice for Kuwaiti residents visiting Bahrain for a short stay, offering the flexibility to explore the country by car. This information applies to both Kuwait and Bahrain.

Selecting a Rental Company

Bahrain has several car rental companies that serve international visitors. When deciding on a rental company, it’s essential to compare prices, review feedback from previous customers, and grasp the rental agreement’s terms and conditions. In most cases, rental companies will request a copy of your valid Kuwaiti driving license, passport, and credit card.

Comprehending the Rental Agreement

Before you put your signature on the rental agreement, make certain that you grasp all the terms and conditions. This encompasses the rental duration, mileage limitations, insurance coverage, and fuel regulations. Additionally, it’s crucial to inspect the car’s condition before you begin your journey.

Driving Rules and Regulations

While you can drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti license, it’s important to get acquainted with the local driving rules and regulations. While they share similarities with those in Kuwait, it’s essential to note that there might be variations that drivers should be aware of to steer clear of fines or penalties.

Understanding the Rules and Regulations

In Bahrain, there are specific rules and regulations that all drivers must follow. Here are some important ones:

  1. Drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  2. Seatbelts are mandatory for both the driver and all passengers.
  3. Using mobile phones while driving is not allowed unless you have a hands-free device.
  4. Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited.
  5. When approaching roundabouts, yield to vehicles already inside.
  6. Making a right turn at a red traffic light is not allowed.
  7. Drivers who flash their high-beam headlights usually do so to indicate their intention to pass.
  8. Street parking is only allowed in designated parking bays.

Speed Limits

The speed limits can differ based on the type of road in both Kuwait and Bahrain:

  • In urban areas or within city limits: 60 kph (37 mph)
  • On roads outside city limits: 80-100 kph (50-62 mph)
  • On motorways or highways: 120 kph (75 mph)



To drive in Bahrain with a Kuwaiti license is not only possible but also relatively straightforward. Whether you’re visiting as a tourist, planning a short stay, or seeking employment, understanding the rules, requirements, and conversion process is essential. As long as you meet the necessary criteria and follow the guidelines, you can enjoy the freedom of driving in Bahrain with your Kuwaiti license.

Faisal Nazir
Faisal Nazir shares his insights and experiences to help readers discover the hidden gems and vibrant culture of Kuwait.


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