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Updated 5 months ago

Do you wish to drive in Saudi Arabia? Here is some useful information to help you obtain a national driver's license.

Driving in Saudi Arabia is the easiest and most convenient way to get around. That being said, foreigners in Saudi Arabia will have to get accustomed to the driving style in Saudi Arabia. Getting a good understanding of driving etiquette and road signage is the first step to developing your road skills in Saudi Arabia.

You will also need to sort out your drivers’ licence. Depending on your home country, you may need to convert your licence to a National Saudi Driving Licence. Here are few areas you should keep in mind when starting to drive in Saudi Arabia.

 Important:

In September 2017, a decree was issued permitting women to drive. It's expected to be implemented as of June 2018.

Road conditions

For new drivers and foreign drivers, Saudi Arabia’s road may be a shock at first. The driving nature is very reckless, which makes sense considering that Saudi Arabia is ranked the #1 country in the world for most roadway accidents and deaths. Please take extreme caution when driving.

Recognised driver's licenses

If you hold a driver’s license from the United States, the United Kingdom, or/an International License, then you are exempted from having to do a driving licence conversion. You will be fully permitted to drive, obtain an automobile, and purchase the mandatory car insurance.

 Good to know:

Due to the influx of women expected to join the current drivers' traffic, the once 3-month validity of licences issued to UK and USA licenses has now been voided. There is no need to ever convert your licence any longer.

If you don’t have a license from the mentioned above, then you are required to obtain a Saudi Licence. Converting your licence to a Saudi Arabia Licence takes a few steps.

Converting your driver's license

This driver's license has a 10 years validity period and is issued following a computerized driving test. To apply for a Saudi driver's license, the following documents have to be produced:

  • The green application form (which is available at the Saudi Ministry of Transport office, on its website, or at driving schools in Arabic version only)
  • Your original Iqama visa along with a copy
  • Your original and valid passport along with a copy
  • Your original driver's license along with an official translation (if non-Arabic)
  • Four colour passport-type identity pictures
  • Your blood group test (can be obtained at a local hospital or clinic)
  • Reports of your eye tests (can be performed at a local hospital or clinic)
  • Receipt of payment (amounting to 435 riyals and issued by banks such as the Al-Rajhi Bank or Riyadh Bank).

Novice drivers

If you are new to driving and would like to obtain a driver’s licence, then you will need to produce all the above-mentioned documents. In addition, you will be required to attend driving lessons and pass a driving examination.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Interior - Renewal or replacement or driver's license
General Traffic Department
Fees
Auto Driver Club - Road traffic signs

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.