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Now, expats may have to renew driving license every two years

The Parliament in Bahrain has approved a proposal that mandates all expats to renew traffic licenses and permits every two years.

The proposal is aimed to link the renewal of driving licenses, vehicle ownership deeds and other services by the Interior Ministry’s Traffic Directorate with two-year residency permits.

Under the existing legislation, Bahrainis and expatriates renew their driving licenses once in five years, and pay for a replacement if a car or ownership deed is lost.

The proposal aims to amend the 2014 Traffic Law passed during the Parliament’s weekly session yesterday, although the ministry urged the MPs to reject the move as it would mean incorporating a new system to deal with expatriates.

Reacting to this, the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee, which backed the passing of the amendment, said that linking traffic services with residency permits will create a more organized system.

Expatriates use their driving licenses to work in GCC, even after the expiry of their residency, and with such a system in place, this will be limited.

The proposal was passed by 14 MPs, and the government will draft it as legislation in six months’ time, to be presented to the new Parliament this year.

Traffic violations have reduced by 48 percent since the introduction of the 2014 law and Bahrain has been ranked first in traffic regulations in the Middle East, pointed out traffic Legal Affairs Head Captain, Khalid Buqais.

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