All vehicles must be registered annually and once they are three years old they must pass an annual inspection in order to renew the vehicle's registration (Istimara). The test is intended to ensure that vehicles on the road are roadworthy and safe to drive. Vehicle inspections are carried out by Woqod Vehicles Inspection (FAHES).
It is advisable to book an appointment for a vehicle inspection in advance to avoid long queues. The main inspection site is the industrial area in Doha. However, there are also three mobile service stations.
While most inspection areas are open from 07:00 to 17:00, it is advisable to check beforehand as some only accept certain categories of vehicles on specific days.
The vehicle inspection consists of two elements: the technical test and the legal test.
Even though the inspection itself is meticulous, the process is relatively straightforward.
The technical vehicle inspection test checks aspects such as emissions, windscreen wipers, brightness of headlights, brakes, brake and reverse lights, engine noise, battery condition and general engine condition.
The legal inspection covers aspects such as paintwork, tinted windows, stickers, tyres, spare tyres, fire extinguisher (there should be one in the vehicle), condition of the car body and seat belts.
The only document required is the vehicle's registration card (Istimara), or a photocopy of it. It is also necessary to pay the appropriate fee on arrival, which is payable in cash.
A report, which states whether the vehicle has passed or failed the test, can be collected as soon as the car has been through the test process. It is most important to pass the technical inspection.
If the vehicle fails the legal inspection for minor details (such as a scratch on the paintwork) it is possible to get this "approved" by the captain of police in the inspection area. Alternatively, if there are no police on site to "waive" any failings in the legal test requirements, the report can be taken to the local police station who can "waive" it (depending on what the failure is for), approve the legal inspection and officially stamp and sign the report.
Alternatively, if police are not available on site to 'waive' any failing in the legal test requirements, the report can be taken to the local police station who can 'waive' it (depending on what the failure is for), approve the legal inspection and officially stamp and sign the report.
It is possible to have a free re-inspection within thirty days, and the car will only be tested on what it has failed on. There may be mechanics available on site to make any small repairs. If the vehicle does not pass a re-inspection within 30 days, it is necessary to undergo a full re-inspection.
Before leaving the test area, it is necessary to get the vehicle inspection report signed and stamped. Once the insurance has been renewed, it is then possible to get the registration card (Istimara) renewal at the Traffic Office.
The process and requirements are the same for any vehicles, whether imported or bought locally.
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