Find out everything you need to know about driving in Saudi Arabia here.
26 September 2013| Last updated on 27 June 2018
When you move to a new country, it is usually preferable to get your driver’s licence so that you can drive yourself around. This is especially the case if public transport is either expensive or not readily available.
Although there is a lot of public transport available in Saudi Arabia, it is generally easier to drive yourself around. Some nationalities can simply convert their driving licence while most other countries first need to go take the test.
If you don’t want to opt for getting your driving licence in Saudi Arabia, then you can always hire a driver or simply take a taxi. But for those who do prefer driving themselves around, here is everything that you need to know:
Are women allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia? / Who is allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia?
For a number of years, only men was allowed to drive in the Kingdom with women being arrested if they are caught driving. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has however issued a royal decree in September 2017 and as of June 2018 the ban on women driving in the Kingdom was lifted. Now both men and women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia if they have a valid driving licence.
Can visitors drive in Saudi Arabia?
Visitors to the Kingdom are permitted to drive for a period of up to three months on their country’s driving licence. Thereafter they will have to apply for a Saudi driving licence. There are selected countries that have a licencing agreement with Saudi (such as the UK) and nationals of these countries will be able to simply exchange their licence for a fee. To find out the list of countries that qualifies for a driving licence exchange please visit the local traffic police.
How can expats convert their drivers licence in Saudi Arabia?
If there is a licencing agreement between your country and Saudi Arabia then you can just convert your licence without having to take the test. Simply take the following documentation to the closest traffic police office to convert your licence.
- Two copies of your original driving licence
- An official Arabic translation of your driving licence
What if you don’t qualify to convert your driving licence in Saudi Arabia?
Nationalities who do not have a licencing agreement between their country and Saudi Arabia will need to complete a written and practical test before they can obtain a Saudi driving licence. Before applying for the driving test you should have the following documents:
- Two copies of the original driving licence
- An official Arabic translation of the licence
- Iqama copy
- Passport and Visa copy
- Blood group and eye test
- Passport photos with a white background
- A letter from your sponsor attested by the Chamber of Commerce
Once you have gathered all your documentation you can apply for a date to take the driving licence test. This can usually be done online.
SEE ALSO: Used Car Websites in Saudi Arabia
What is the minimum age to apply for driving licence in Saudi Arabia?
As in many other countries, Saudi Arabia has a legal age from which residents are allowed to start driving. You need to be at least 18-years of age or older in Saudi Arabia to be considered “legal” on the roads in Saudi Arabia.
How much does a driving licence cost in Saudi Arabia?
The fee for your driving licence will depend on the licence that you are applying for. You can apply for a two, five or ten year normal car driving licence in the Kingdom depending on your needs.
Here are the respective fees:
- 2 year licence: SR 80
- 5 year licence: SR 200
- 10 year licence: SR 400
It is important to note that these are just the fees to get your driving licence and does not include the fees from driving schools or agents.
How can you apply for a driving licence if you don’t have a driving licence?
You will need to go for 30 or 90 hours of driving classes at a driving school in Saudi Arabia if you do not have a valid driving licence from your home country.
Once you have finished the required driving classes, you will be able to apply for your test. Usually the driving school will be able to assist you with this.
In order to apply for the tests, you will require the following documentation:
- Iqama copy
- Passport and Visa copy
- 4 passport size photographs
- A duly filled form to apply for Saudi Driving Licence
What does the driving licence test consist of?
There are two tests that you will have to take in order to get your driving licence. The first test is a theoretical test to ensure that you know the different road signs and rules. Once you past the theory test, you will have to take the practical test. During the practical test your driving and parking skills will be tested.
If you successfully pass both tests then you will receive your driving licence. If you however fail, you might have to re-take some of the classes to help you better prepare for the next test.
Contact the General Department of Traffic for any inquiries that you may have regarding obtaining a driving licence in Saudi Arabia.