Starting September, Traffic Fines Must Be Paid Before Leaving the Country

Doha, Qatar: The General Directorate of Traffic at the Ministry of Interior has announced new regulations requiring motorists to pay any outstanding traffic fines before leaving the country by land, air, or sea, effective September 1.

A 50% discount on traffic violation fines for all vehicles has also been introduced, starting from June 1. According to the new rules, buses with over 25 passengers, taxis, and limousines are banned from using the left lane on roads with three or more lanes in each direction. Delivery motorcycle riders must use the right lane on all roads, with lane changes permitted at least 300 meters before intersections.

New procedures for obtaining vehicle exit permits have also been established. These announcements were made during a press conference at the Directorate’s headquarters in Madina Khalifa South.

The new rules are based on The Traffic Law issued by Decree-Law No. (19) of 2007 and the Decision of the Minister of Interior No. (21) of 2024 regarding the rules and procedures for issuing permits for mechanical vehicles to exit the country.

During the press conference, Brigadier Abdullah Khalifa Al Muftah, Director of the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior, stated that starting September 1, 2024, traffic law violators will not be allowed to leave the country without paying their fines. Motorists can pay fines through the Metrash2 application, the Ministry of Interior website, traffic sections, or unified service centers.

Assistant Director of the Licensing Department at the General Directorate of Traffic, Staff Colonel Ali Hassan Al Kaabi, and Assistant Director of the Traffic Safety Department, Major Eng Mohammed Misfer Al Hajri, also attended the press conference.

Al Muftah announced a 50% discount on traffic violation fines from June 1, 2024, until August 31, 2024. This discount applies to violations recorded within the past three years.

The General Directorate of Traffic outlined rules effective from May 22, 2024, requiring vehicle owners to obtain a permit from the General Directorate of Traffic to exit the country. Conditions include no outstanding traffic violations and specifying the final destination. The permit applicant must be the vehicle owner or have the owner’s consent.

Certain vehicles, such as those bound for GCC countries with no traffic violations and goods transporting vehicles, are exempt from the exit permit requirement.

For vehicles with Qatari plates outside the country, owners must return them within 90 days from this announcement unless a permit is obtained for an extended period. Vehicles permitted to leave the country must return before the permit expires, with the possibility of renewal.

Failure to comply with these rules will result in legal actions, including the administrative impoundment of the vehicle for up to 90 days. Vehicles outside the country will not be allowed to renew registration without a technical inspection in Qatar. If registration is not renewed within 30 days of expiration, the license plates must be returned to the General Directorate of Traffic. Non-compliance will result in referral to the Public Prosecution, with penalties including imprisonment for one week to one year and a fine between QR3,000 and QR10,000.