Driving in KSA: Knowing the people sitting with you on the car whether they are relatives or strangers is the responsibility of every driver and the duty of conveying people to their destination involves checking their Iqama validity or residence permit.
In instances when your passenger is not carrying an Iqama or their Iqama has already expired, it is not legal to transport them anywhere in Saudi Arabia. There will be heavy penalties imposed the car’s driver as people with expired Iqamas are considered as illegal residents.
Based on the website of the Ministry of Interior, Penalties for Transporting Illegal Residents are as follows:
- SR 15,000 and 1 month in jail for first time violators.
- SR 30,000 and 3 months in jail for second time violators.
- SR 100,000 and 6 months in jail for third time violators
These fines are multiplied to the number of people involved. In instances where expats violate this law, their Iqama will be terminated and after applying the corresponding penalties, he will be deported.
For repeat violators, the conveyance shall be confiscated whether ownership of the vehicle belongs to the accessory, the carrier or any colluding party.
From above, you can see that mistakes even as small as this can put an end to your career in the Kingdom. But, it is also important to point out that this is just applicable to expats living illegally in Saudi Arabia. When the expat does not have the Iqama on his person at the time he is asked for it, the fines are different and the penalties range from SR 1,000 to SR 3,000.
Tips on Avoiding Getting Penalized for Transporting Illegal Residents
Given the weight of fines that you face when you are caught transporting people who are illegally residing in the Kingdom, it would be better to avoid such situation by following these recommendations.
- Always ask for your expat passenger’s Iqama. If you happen to be a professional driver, you need to ask for their Iqama and check its validity if you have to transport them from one place to another,
- Private drivers who are transporting people should always ask his passengers if they have their Iqama with them and if it is valid. You need to remember that committing this mistake would lead to being deported and fined.
- If any stranger asks you for a lift, it would be advisable not to unless you have unquestionable proof of their identity and the validity of their Iqama. This may seem to be unethical but it is better safe than sorry.
h/t: Arab News