Saturday, April 25, 2009

How to know your traffic fines



It's a 'fine' day - literally! No, I did not mean the weather, this is about the fine you have to pay when caught for some traffic offence.

Most expatriates working in Saudi Arabia would have at some point of time faced a peculiar situation - getting a traffic violation ticket without even knowing what it is all about. Expatriate car drivers / owners dread the so-called yellow ticket. Everything would be in Arabic, so you will have to make a guess or take the help of a person who can read Arabic. Well, you will have to get used to it, and the sooner the better. The worst part is when you come to know about a pending fine just when you are about to leave on vacation. Imagine going to the airport and being refused by the immigration officer, just because there is a fine pending against your name.

Thankfully, those days are now gone. You can get to know the fine pending against your name sitting in the comfort of your home. If you are having a SAWA mobile phone (as most expats do), just type your iqama number and sms it to 88993. It would cost you SR1.5 and you will get a reply back in your mobile about the pending fine. If you are a Mobily subscriber, just type your iqama number and send an sms to 625555. You can also call 01-2928888 through your landline to know the status of your fine. Just follow the instructions after dialling this number.

Once you know the fine amount, you have to go to either Al Rajhi Bank or Riyad Bank and pay the same. You can also do it online if you have an account in either of these two banks.

Talking about fines, I always used to wonder how some people just get away with all that rash driving? I never realized it until I saw it myself. Believe it or not, with the right 'wasta', you CAN get your fine amount reduced! I have never seen such a thing anywhere else in the world! In the earlier days, people even used to get their tickets cancelled before it was entered in the system, but now it has become a bit difficult.

Rather than undergo all of this, the best way would be to just drive safely and reach home in one piece! Hope this information was useful.

16 comments:

sj said...

Hi Guru,

Thanks for this useful information as I was looking exactly same however; I got yellow page on Friday (24th April) and checked the violation by sending Iqama Id to 88993 but got the reply "There is no violation for Id: my ID". what does that mean and what should I do now, is there any timelimit for paying the violation. Please help in this regard.

Thanks!

Expatguru said...

SJ,

Things don't work as fast as they should. It takes atleast 2 weeks to a month for the data to get entered in the system. It is clear that your violation has not yet been entered in the system. You just have to keep checking it periodically. There is no time limit for paying the violation, but remember that you cannot do any government-related transaction, eg., exit/reentry, iqama renewal, etc., unless pending fines are paid and cleared in the system.

Expatguru said...

Dear fellow-expats,

One of the readers, Mudassar, had also suggested going to the Ministry of Interior's website for checking it online. Unfortunately, there is a restriction by MOI that their website address cannot be used in any other website and hence I am unable to publish his comment here, though it had contained some useful information. Readers are advised to do a simple Google search for Ministry of Interior, Saudi Arabia to find out the website address.

sj said...

Thanks,

In worst situation if violation reveals while exiting from the country then what should be the process, I believe that there should be a counter or some facility to deposit the violation fee to proceed.

Moreover; what if I visit the banks you mentioned and present them that yellow slip so that they could read the fine that has to be paid. Not sure if they write the amount on that paper or not...

Please advice!

Expatguru said...

SJ,

This is indeed a tricky situation which most expats face. There is just no solution available.

You have to pay the fine only in Riyad bank or in Al Rajhi bank, nowhere else (another pain!). In Al Rajhi bank, you have separate machines to pay the fine. The downside is that you need an account in that bank to operate this machine. Don't worry. Usually there are always these guys hanging around just waiting for people like you. They will pay the money on your behalf and will collect SR20 as their commission (cool business, isn't it?). I have myself paid this way. The only consolation is that there is an English interface in these machines.

Anonymous said...

hi guru,

This is basha,Indian and I don't have comment on this blog but have a question to you, recently I have got an offer from a Saudi company and visa stampped on my passport, but i have got a other better offer in Oman. If I want to cancel my saudi visa , then what is the procedure or shall I leave oman without cancelling saudi visa.
Your advise appreciated.

Expatguru said...

Basha,

Just proceed to Oman.There is no need to cancel the Saudi visa. Good luck!

American Engineer said...

Expatguru,

Good blog. I have enjoyed reading it. A quick question you might be able to answer. I am an American engineer with fairly specialized experience that is considering a one month consulting job with KAUST, which appears to be being constructed by Aramco. I know what standard consulting rates in the US are, but I am having a hard time determining a 'Saudi markup' - i.e. how much more to expect for work in the Kingdom. Do you have any feel or resources you could recommend to determine an appropriate markup for such work? Thanks.

Expatguru said...

American Engineer,

This is such a delicate issue that I normally avoid answering it. That's because pay packets are directly proportional to your bargaining capacity. It is absolutely normal to find people with the same experience and qualifications having extremely wide variance in their pay. As a general thumb rule, I would advise you to start bargaining from 3 times your hourly rate which you would normally get at home.

American Engineer said...

Expatguru,

I can understand that this is a delicate issue and I appreciate your willingness to give a rough answer. Having never worked overseas I just had no idea. I didn't want to start at 1.5 - 2X and end up massively insulting the inquiring individuals by asking too much. Thanks for your candor and assistance.

American Engineer

Sameer said...

Hi guru,

I just got a parking ticket and i dont know how much fine amount it is? where can i find that. Plus ironically, i am leaving for vacation on 6th September and I got the ticket on 27th August, are there any chances of facing problems at immigration? Or is this less time for the ticket to get registered in my name. And what if i have not paid the ticket fine and i reach the immigration? please answer. i dont know what to do? Can i take the yellow ticket somewhere to pay voluntarily so that I may not face any trouble at immigration?

Expatguru said...

Sameer,

Please fill in your query in the form through the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed personalized reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expat Guru,

I was involved in a signal breaking incident and the officer gave me a ticket and let me off.

I have been told though that there may be jail time involved however since i was allowed to leave they may have not put any time.

Can you elaborate on whether jail time is required for one violation since the MOI website has no mention of jail however the expat community has generally stated 1 night in prison for red light.

Regards;

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

USMAN said...

hi expatguru

i want to know that still fine is not updated against my name. if it is not updated in system can i got out from KSA without paying. Also what is the time limit to pay the fine and when that time will start. from fine date or from updation date

Expatguru said...

Usman,



Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.