News article

Changes to notarial and documentary services in Kuwait

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

British Embassy Kuwait introduces important new changes to notarial and documentary services

Following some recent policy changes that the Kuwaiti government have made we are no longer able to process certain notarial and documentary services at the British Embassy of Kuwait. At the moment, this includes certified copies of driving licenses and educational documents.

For services we have provided in the past and are no longer able to do so, we are working to identify alternative providers who can offer these services instead, or, if there were already an alternative, we will continue to signpost you to these other options.

This move to reduce services is actually in line with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s longer term consular strategy to streamline services to British Nationals overseas where there are alternative providers.

Following are some of the major changes currently affecting notarial and documentary services at the British Embassy Kuwait:

  • Legalisations (Fee1iii): The Kuwait government requires that all UK documents be legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and then the Kuwaiti Embassy in London before they can be used in Kuwait. UK documents include but are not limited to Birth/Death/Marriage/Divorce certificates and educational degrees.

In the event that you need a document legalised by the FCO you should subsequently have that document legalised by the Kuwait Embassy in the UK rather than obtaining a legalisation at the British Embassy of Kuwait as in the past.

For information on how to obtain legalisations through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Milton Keynes, please visit their web-site at www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised

  • Legalising Educational Documents (Fee 1iii): The previous process for legalising educational certificates was to obtain the (1) British Council stamp, (2) British Embassy Kuwait stamp, and (3) Ministry of Foreign Affairs stamp; OR (1) Foreign & Commonwealth Office stamp, (2) Kuwait Embassy in the UK stamp, (3) Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs stamp (wherein the educational document is needed for local purposes such as residency). Since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kuwait are no longer accepting the British Council stamp only the second method of obtaining the Foreign Commonwealth Office stamp is a viable option. We are currently working on finding a local lawyer and/or other local provider who can legalise educational documents in a manner acceptable to the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will update you accordingly.

  • Driving Licenses (Fee 6): The previous process for driving licenses attestation has also changed as it is also no longer being accepted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kuwait. The new procedure to transfer your DVLA driving licence to a local Kuwaiti one is as follows:

  1. Take your driving licence (card and counterpart (paper)) to a solicitor for attestation in the UK (note: we are working on finding a local provider of this service and will inform you accordingly; in the meantime, please see Note 2 below)

  2. Send the attested copies to the FCO legalisation office in Milton Keynes (see above address for FCO Office).

  3. Once legalised by the FCO, take your documents to the Kuwaiti Embassy in London for legalisation http://kuwait.embassyhomepage.com/#embassy-address-london

  4. Once back in Kuwait, translate your documents and take the translations to the Ministry of Justice of Kuwait for attestation.

  5. Finally, take your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait for a final legalisation.

  • Note 1: If you are currently in Kuwait on a Visitor Visa, you may drive using your UK or international or any other valid license. However, once you have obtained your residency and have your civil ID card, it is illegal to drive without a valid Kuwait driver’s license; doing so may result in incurring fines and possibly even detention and/or deportation.

  • Note 2: Please note there are organisations that can arrange legalisations for you in the UK; while we do not recommend one over another, you may contact:

http://www.vitalcertificates.co.uk/kuwait-legalisation-of-uk-documents-108-p.asp

https://www.ukofficialservices.co.uk/KuwaitLegalisationExistingDocumentOrder.aspx

We continue to seek alternative solutions and will update accordingly; in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Consular Section should you have questions consularenquirieskuwait@fco.gov.uk