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Who is responsible to check Iqamas?
It is the responsibility of every taxi driver, car driver, bus driver or even private driver (like you) who is involved at any point in time in transporting the passenger from one place to another to check their Iqamas. These passengers can be your customers (in case of a taxi driver) or your relatives who are going to someplace with you.
What if they don't have the Iqama?
If they are not carrying Iqama or Iqama they are carrying has been expired a while ago, you cannot legally carry them to any place within Saudi Arabia.
You can just excuse them because there are heavy penalties imposed on the person who is involved in transporting the illegal resident from one place to another. A resident with expired Iqama will be treated as an illegal resident.
Penalties on the Transporter of Illegal Residents
- For the first instance, the carrier fine is SR 15,000 and one-month imprisonment.
- Second instance fine is SR 30,000 and three months imprisonment.
- The third instance fine is SR 1000,000 and six months imprisonment.
- If the carrier is an expatriate resident, his Iqama shall be terminated and he shall be deported to his country after the application of the penalty taken against him.
- Means of land transport shall be confiscated in case of repeating violation, whether such means were owned by the carrier, the accessory or the colluding party.
It is important to mention here that this penalty and other provisions will apply only if the expatriate is living in Saudi Arabia illegally.
If someone’s Iqama is valid but he does not have Iqama at the time of checking, it is a different case. He will be fined with SR 1,000 to SR 3,000 in that case. Recommended: SR 3,000 Fine and deportation for not carrying Iqama
How to avoid such situations?
It is better to check the Iqama of the expatriates you are transporting from one city to another if you are a professional driver.
If you are the private driver, it is suggested to at least ask from all the persons you are transporting about the validity and availability of your Iqama. Please keep in mind that a small mistake can lead to deportation.
It seems unethical but it is my advice not to pick hitchhikers from roads in Saudi Arabia.
Source: Arab News