Getting a Drivers license in Riyadh

Updated 2014-01-20 07:22

I was very anxious to get my driver’s license since I arrived here around 7 weeks ago. In fact I had made it priority # 1, so it was quite frustrating that it took so long as it did.

Necessary documents

  • Letter from Company attested by chamber of commerce - which even though I had, they did not really care about, and returned it back to me
  • Iqama copy
  • Copy of passport and visa page
  • Medical certificate for blood group + eye test, you can get this from any medical center/hospital (you will need a photograph)
  • Copy of your old driver's license (for me this was my Pakistani driver's license)
  • ?3 photographs


  1. ?Go to the Dallah school, for me it was the one in Sulay(ask any taxi driver to take you). Just accross the street from the entrance are lots of photocopy shops, go to them, and they will give you a green file and help you to put your documents in the file. (5 SAR)
  2. Just inside the gate towards the left is the translator, ask him to do a translation for your license.(40 SAR)
  3. Walk inside the building and go to information, they guard there will give you a token, you will be called to one of the counters towards your left.
  4. Give him the file along with your driver's license and he will ask you to get it verified from the "captain" who is a few counters away, wait for your turn to get the documents verified.
  5. Go to the "first test", this is an area outside the building where you will see some cars (the nice ones are for the second test, the bad/broken down ones are for this test). Ask around if you get lost. The tester will ask you to sit in a car and drive a short distance - 100m or so. The intention of this test is to decide if you need driving classes or not, if you do, then they will ask you to come back again to take some classes before you can give the final test. The only thing you need to be sure of is that the car does not stop. That is all they care about, in fact, they don't even care if you put the seatbelts on or not(but still put them on :)). If you pass this test, the tester will write a P on your file.
  6. Go back to the original counter and submit your file, the guy at the counter will give you a receipt with the date/time for your "class" - this can be anywhere between 2 weeks to 6 weeks, for me it was the next day since I took our companies PRO with me :) (100 SAR)
  7. Go home
  8. Come back on the date/time of your class, BE ON TIME - I was 45 minutes late (class was b/w 9am-12noon) and the instructor was really pissed off! in fact anyone who came after me could not attend the class. the class is mostly BS, a very excited instructor passing on passionate instructions in Arabic.
  9. Before the class is finished the instructor will show some sample questions on the exam, along with answers. It helps to be sitting up front, since i couldnt read anything from my back seat. The projector is old and out of focus, and the room very bright.
  10. Now came the surprise, i expected that i would be given a "date" for the exam, but right after the class, he asked which language would i take the exam in, and gave me a flyer with VERY poorly translated signs, and infomration on the exam - which i realized was to take place immediately. So i would suggest, either take the flyer with you on the day you go to submit your documents and use this: or
  11. The instructor will take you to the exam hall, wait for your turn and take the exam - remember the option that says "Delay Question" will actually change the question. You have to get 15 of 20 correct, and you can change 5 questions!
  12. If you pass the test, come out from the computer testing hall and wait in the driving test hall, right next door. They will call your name when it's your turn. The tester will take 4 guys to a car, if you want, you can get in the front seat to start or make your way to the back seat.
  13. Things to keep in mind: put on the seatbelt, adjust the mirrors and the seat, start the car - it will most likely be manual, lower the hand brake and off you go (if you need to reverse, remember that the cars they had you had to pull up a little thingy under the ball of the gear stick). If you are from Pakistan/India: the indicators are on your Left hand!
  14. If you see a stop sign on the track stop the car, look left and right and then drive through, keep in your lane, and don't forget to shift gears!!
  15. The tester might take you outside, in my case, he did not, he might test you for Parking, in my case it was only for forward parking and not reverse...ask around, and practice!
  16. If you pass the test, they will give you your file back.
  17. Take it to the big hall where it all started, and get a token for the counters on the opposite side (the guard will help you).
  18. While you wait for your turn, make the payment (there are some Saudi guys outside who can do this for you for 10SAR, although they look shady i used them since i didn't know better, and i realized the guy at the counter wasn't taking the fees until it was almost my turn!) (250 + 10 SAR)
  19. Give the guy at the counter your file when your number is called, he will keep the file, and return your old driver's license.
  20. And in a few minutes, someone will call out your name and hand you your brand new license

?Good luck!

I dont know how it's supposed to work if you fail any of the 3 tests....hopefully you won't! Be confident and take it slowly, it is really very easy. Much easier than the test I took in Pakistan (which i failed 3 times before i finally got it right)

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