Major Faults: A Story about Car Inspection

Technical Evaluation: Failed. Major Fault. Legal Requirements: Failed. Major Fault.

Oh my God. Couldn’t believe that my car failed in an inspection for car registration (istimarah) renewal. And I skimmed through the 2-page inspection report: paint scratch, paint faded in legal requirements and rear brake weak, turning signal not sufficient brightness, engine noisy in technical evaluation. Hmmm a lot needs to be done.

Law in Qatar requires vehicles to be inspected if they are older than 3 years old. This shall happen at the same time as istimarah expiry date. The law also requires that car owner to ensure that his vehicle passes an inspection, has his car insurance renewed, in order to renew his car istimarah. Good news is you will have a month from expiry date for renewal before a penalty is imposed.

Inspection is done by “Woqod for Vehicle Inspection (FAHES)”.

Now let’s me describe how I went through inspection, re-inspection process.

0. Prepare your car for inspection: technically and legally. See below. Also It is suggested that you ensure your car is clean, jack-washed before heading to car inspection location.

1. First, you need to locate where you want to bring your car for inspection. There are several places: in Wakrah, in Al Khor, in Industrial Area, and in Abu Hamour area. See bottom page for locations.

2. Know the timing. Majority is open from 7 to 5pm but individual inspection place might have different timing. For example in Al Khor, Saturday, Sunday, Monday is reserved for light vehicle, and Tuesday to Thursday for heavy vehicles. Friday is a holiday. Also you need to bear in mind that although they are closed at 5pm registration may stop earlier.

3. Plan your inspection schedule. Get there early in the morning for short queue or later in the afternoon. But I can’t give you a hint what time is the best. Just try your luck. Typically in weekend is more crowded than in weekdays.

I am not sure if prior booking does work for this technical inspection. Never tried. Tell me if it does.

4. Prepare your energy. If you are lucky enough you may need to wait for less than an hour. But in many cases you need to wait much longer. My case for example I need to wait up more than 3 hours before I am being served. Pack enough drink or light meal. Seriously.

5. Have yourself – in a car – in a queue. And by the way, bring your car istimarah. Inspection can be delegated however.

Outside queue for entry to Al Khor Car Inspection

6. An inspection staff will approach you as you get nearer to inspection gate/lane for registration. He will give you a queue number slip

7. Leave your car, go to Registration Office. Prepare to pay 75QR – cash. You will get two slips, one for customer, one for inspection staff.

8. Back to queue, ready for directed to inspection lane. Most places have only one inspection bay, making inspection quite time wasting. In average one car requires 10-15 minutes.

Queue inside Al Khor Car Inspection (seen here inspection bay)

9. When it’s your turn, drive to inspection bay. Present inspection slip to the inspection staff. You will be asked to: turn on wiper, headlights, turning light (front and rear), brake light, reverse light Legal requirements items will be inspected: paint, tinted window, stickers, tires, spare tire, fire extinguisher, body condition, car plate condition, seat belt, etc. The staff will drag a light test console: measure your car light brightness and appropriate height level of headlight beam. You will need to open car hood: check for engine noise, battery condition, overall engine condition. The staff will affix emission probe to your car exhaust for emission test. Then your car will be driven by the staff to a steel ramp to test you car brake system.

I heard that inspection in Abu Hamour is more sophisticated than in other locations.

Inspection Bay at Al Khor Inspection. Behind this bay are Police Office and Registration Office

 

10. You will be asked to go to Registration Office to obtain inspection result. Prepare for heart attack, no kidding.

11. Here is the clue and quite common unwritten practice. It is technical evaluation that matters. So if you have failed in meeting legal requirement you can have ‘approval’ from the captain (or police) in the inspection location (note that the police is not available all the time. In Al Khor for example he is not available on Saturday) provided that it is minor or not due to an accident. With his signature and stamp you can proceed with istimarah renewal provided that you pass technical evaluation.

12. Re-inspection. Suppose you failed in technical evaluation. At the back of payment/registration slip you will read that:

a. This report is valid for 30 days to complete the procedure for the traffic department

b. If a vehicle fails (Technical) during paid inspection it can undergo one free of charge re-inspection within 30 days

c. For re-inspection purpose please bring your inspection report.

d. If a vehicle does not pass the inspections within 30 days from the first inspection the vehicle has to undergo a full new inspection

e. For re-inspection purpose do not use sealant on the repaired parts

f. Defective parts under the chassis and tires will be marked with yellow paint. The leakages will not be marked with paint

g. For re-inspection of the brake system a full brake test will be carried out

h. For re-inspection of emission, the exhaust system will be checked for any leakage and for (black, blue white) smoke

i.

j. We strongly advise you to have any fault repaired by qualified mechanics in accordance with the recommendations of vehicle manufacturers.

k.l.m. Disclaimers

For re-inspection, follow the same process, bring previous inspection report. The inspection staff will only inspect failed items.

As for my car, I bring my Cherokee to American Tech Center, present the mechanics with the inspection reports and come back three days later to collect my car with Technical inspection passed! (This American Tech Center offers services for  taking your car to Tech Inspection – so that you don’t waste your time)

As for legal requirements, I bring the re-inspection report (with Technical Evaluation Passed) to Police in Al Khor Inspection [no need to queue; just show your report and drive your car close to Police office] and have him to ‘waive’ and approve legal requirements. “Paint OK?” he asked. “Yes, as you can see”. He signed the paper, and took a stamp from his pocket. Stamped!

Now with this all technical evaluation and legal requirements passed, I bring the inspection report and renewed insurance to Traffice Office for istimarah renewal. Done!

Inspection Location:

1. Abu Hamour. Access through the road opposite Medical Commission. Near storage tank farm. Coordinate: 25°14’2″N   51°30’51″E. Open everyday except Friday, from 07.00-12.00 and 12.30 – 16.00.

2. Wakrah. Coordinate: 25°10’25.89″N  51°36’21.76″E. From Doha, pass second roundabout , look for big mosque on the right side. Inspection is in front of the mosque

3. Al Khor. Coordinate: 25°14’20.13″N  51°29’43.47″E. Behind  Al Khor Fire Station (Green-yellowish building). Open everyday except Friday from 7am to 5.30pm. Saturday to Monday for light vehicle. Tuesday to Thursday for heavy vehicle. Police is not available on Saturday.

4. Industrial Area. Open from 6.00am to 5.30pm

Check maps at http://www.fahes.com

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24 thoughts on “Major Faults: A Story about Car Inspection”

  1. i have done the inspection at alkhore yesterday only and this article is excellant and the information will be very usefull any body new.
    keep it up.

  2. Hi,
    thanks for this priceless info…
    May i know where is American Tech Center located?
    are they having american car spare parts?

  3. Excellent article. Gives very clear idea about registration. Thanks for giving the co-ordinates. Co-ordinates are very useful in locating the areas exactly but require GPS.

  4. Very useful post. Thank you. I went along to the test centre in the industrial area last week. I got there early – 05:55am (they open at 6am) – and there was already a huge queue of around 200 HGVs waiting! This trailed round the block and caused traffic jams to get there. Fortunately, the HGVs and light vehicles are tested separately and I was 6th in the queue for cars to be tested. There are multiple test lanes, so it only took 10 minutes to complete after they opened. I was back in my office in West bay by 7am!

    The only thing I was a bit uncertain about was my window tinting. I had police clearance already, but the test centre marked it as a major fault!!! Luckily you just have to go to see the resident policeman at the test centre who signs off the test form to say your tinting is ok.

    Thanks again for this post,
    All the best, Tom

  5. good but please let me know if black headlights are allowed and if HID head lights are allowed

  6. Please see the updated accurate information on the new FAHES website http://www.fahes.com.qa launched 10.12.2014 there you will find all the site location and times with GPS coordinates, links to google maps, preparation advice, customer flow, links to MOI site, fees and more.. also if anyone needs a specific question answered please use the contact us link we are happy to help.

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