Laura Alho, a Finnish woman living in Saudi Arabia was the first European woman to receive her licence in the Kingdom
9 July 2018| Last updated on 9 July 2018
The Saudi Arabia's traffic police offices have been buzzing recently with women waiting to convert their driving licences. This comes after the ban on women driving was lifted in Saudi Arabia at the end of June 2018.
Laura Alho, the author of the popular travel blog, ‘The Blue Abaya’excitedly shared on Twitter that she passed her driving test. After her test, Laura was told that she is the first European woman to receive her driving licence.
Women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia for a number of years but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman brought an end to this last year after issuing a royal decree allowing women to drive as of 24 June 2018. Women excitedly started driving at 12:01 on the allocated date to celebrate their new found freedom.
Laura explained that it is very easy to convert your foreign driving licence to a Saudi Arabian driver’s licence! All nationalities are able to convert their driving licence as long as you have a valid driving licence. Women who do not have a valid licence or don’t know how to drive will first have to enrol at a driving school.
The test is divided into two sections: a test track and a driving test. During these two tests, you will have to perform a 3-point turn and parallel parking among other things. You need a score of at least 75% or higher in order to pass the test. It is also important to note that the driving instructor will not enter the car with you, but rather follow the car throughout the test.