In a statement last week, the Ministry of Interior called on all motorists to abide by traffic laws and warned that any serious violations, including driving without a valid driving license, could have severe consequences. The ministry added that expat drivers charged with serious traffic offenses could face summary administrative deportation.
The statement called on drivers to verify the validity of their driving licenses online through the ‘MyID’ or ‘Sahel’ application. Underlining the importance of online verification, the ministry clarified that some expat may not be aware that the driving license they hold has been withdrawn by the traffic department for various reasons of which the driver may not even be aware. The ministry stressed that lack of awareness on the validity of their license did not exempt the driver from penalties, including deportation, for driving with an invalid license.
More than 145 expatriates have reportedly been deported for driving without a valid driving license, including those who were not aware that their licenses had been withdrawn by the ministry.
Driving licenses of expatriates, especially those issued after 2013, can be withdrawn for a number of reasons, including not meeting the conditions needed to apply for a driving license, such as not having the specified qualifications, or due to changes in their profession. Driving lLicenses that have been rescinded by the ministry will be clearly indicated in the MyID app as being ‘withdrawn’.