How to Renew Car Registration (Istemara) in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia Car Registration is called (Istemara استمارة). Below I will try to explain how to do it. Either you have a car, a van, an suv or any kind of vehicle in Saudi Arabia and it is registered under your name you can renew its Government Registration by visiting any Moroor (Traffic Police Center). Basically Renewing Car Registration in Saudi Arabia is a process of 3 Steps as follows.

A Sample Vehicle Number Plate of Saudi Arabia

A Sample Vehicle Number Plate of Saudi Arabia

  1. Car Insurance
  2. Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)
  3. Car Registration with Traffic Police

Car Insurance (in Saudi Arabia)

There are many private Insurance companies who are offering Car Insurance in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this insurance is to make sure Financial rights of other vehicle owners whose vehicle is damaged by you in a road accident. In such case a representative from Traffic Police will investigate the accident and declare who is more responsible for the road accident. Once he investigates and issues a final evaluation report either party in the accident can visit Insurance Company and claim to pay the amount, whatever the cost is to repair his vehicle. So to drive a vehicle on Saudi roads you need to have a valid car insurance plan. Normally Car insurance plans are issued for one year period. Before going to renew your car registration make sure that your vehicle has a valid insurance. You may check that from Ministry of Interior’s website. Vist this section of MOI Website and put the identity number (Iqama No.) or Saudi National ID number, additionally fill out your car registration number plate. Upon submitting proper information you will be informed either you car insurance is valid or not. In some cases you got an Insurance policy printed paper with you however the insurance is not registered with Traffic police, in that case you will find “invalid insurance” message on MOI website. This means that you have to get a new car insurance plan by such a company which has registration with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police. As per my experience MedGulf and United Insurance are registered with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police department. This insurance policy costs from 370 SR to 490 SR.

Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)

Firstly make sure that your car Inspection Report i.e. Fahas is valid. If it is not you got to go through your vehicle to Fahas (Inspection) process. If your vehicle is in very good condition you could easily go through Fahas process without any additional fix. However if you doubt it would be better to take it to Mechanic (Workshop). Most Mechanics know what are the main factors to fix for Fahas process. If your Mechanic doesn’t know these factors, take your vehicle to the area where Inspection Center is located in your city. 

In Jeddah Inspection Center or Fahas Dori (فحص دوري) is located in Al-Marwah Distt. It is intersection of Prince Mitab Street (40th Street) with Hira Street. You can relocate Motor Vehicle Periodic Inspection Center in this link at google maps.

To prepare your vehicle for Inspection, first choose any workshop among many, which are located in Opposite side of center. The Mechanic will check the car and suggest you any possible fixtures which are required for inspection process. You may consult more than one workshop to make sure Car Mechanics are not cheating you. The Inspection consist of following parts / issues of a vehicle as mentioned by Life in KSA blog here.

Headlights, Brake Lights, Parking Lights, Indicators, Light Beams, Horn, Wipers, Wiper Rubbers, Regular Brakes and Hand Brake, Visible and Prominent Damage to car, wheel alignment, Wind Screen crackes and visibility issues, Back View Mirrors, No Black Smoke or huge smoke from Car silencer, Oil Leakage, Damages under the Vehicle.

Once the Mechanic finishes fixing problems in your vehicle, find any suitable office for filling the forms (required for renewing car registration). If you are well familiar with Arabic Language do it by yourself. Now take your vehicle inside the inspection center, it is a big area in which vehicles are moving toward inspection garage in a queue. There is a minor fee of inspection as well. Wait for your turn and if your Vehicle is passed in all tests, you may now move to next step. In case your vehicle is failed in the inspection test, take it back to the same Mechanic you consulted earlier and ask him to fix the trouble. Upon fixture take your vehicle inside again for a successful completion of inspection. Upon entering second time and third time fee is slightly less than first time.

Car Registration with Traffic Police

Upon successful completion of inspection, collect your vehicle inspection report and now your vehicle is ready for registration. Below I will mention which are required documents / requirements for renewing car registration.

What Documents are Required for Renewing Vehicle Registration

  1. Copy of Previous Vehicle Registration Card (Istemara) + Original
  2. Copy of Valid Inspection Report + Original
  3. Copy of Iqama for non-saudis, National ID Card for Saudis + Original

Once you have all these documents take them inside Traffic Police Office / Moroor which is located inside Periodic Vehicle Inspection Center. Take your documents to the reception and the officer will tell you to wait for your turn. If everything is ok you will get your renewed Car Registration Card (Istemara) in less than 10 minutes. In case of any problem or trouble, the officer will tell you the problem. Then you can fix this problem and bring your file again to the same place.

About the author

A Pakistani Graphic Designer living and working in Saudi Arabia.