Driving license in Nepal

Hi all,

Can a foreigner take the driving test in Nepal?

What are the formalities to get a driver's licence in Nepal?

Do you need special or extra documents being an expatriate?

How much does it cost?

Thank you for participating ;).


Hi ithapa!

Thanks for your help ;)


No... sorry to disappoint you, but it is a tat bit more complex then ithapa is suggesting.

Just today I have been able to receive my Nepalese driving license.

There are two paths one can follow to get a Nepalese driving license (NPDL).

In Kathmandu Valley everything starts in Ekantakhuna, an area directly on the South-Western part of the Ringroad. Here are the offices which give the driving licenses, and arrange all the paperwork to get one.

First one has to buy a request form, and have it filled out. Since the form is in Nepali, a Westerner can't read it, and needs help having it filled out correctly. On this form you apply for either having your current, foreign DL 'translated' into a NPDL, or to test and qualify for a new NPDL.

The path for the new NPDL requires a written test and a practical exam. The written test can be taken in English, and supposedly English books and test forms exist, but when I went looking for them, no-one could help me locate them. The practical exam is childishly simple. Show some control over your vehicle, and you pass. If you have any actual driving experience in your home country, you will pass the test, but the theory is a pain due to the lack of actual English materials.

I have choosen to have my dutch driving license 'translated' to a NPDL. For this I was first sent to the dutch consulate in Kathmandu, to get a certified document proving my dutch DL to be a real DL and not some fake license. This was actually the most expensive part of the whole driving license story, as I was billed a 'normal Dutch fee' for having my dutch driving license certified. This cost me 3100 rupees or about 31 euro.

Then I needed copies of my passport, both the ID and the Visa pages and of my dutch driving license (both front and back sides). Costs for this was just a few rupees.

Then I needed photo's; 3 'normal' passport size photo's, and 3 smaller (Nepali ID Card size) photo's. All photo's had to be the exact(!) same photograph of my head / upper body. One photo where I was wearing a different colour T-Shirt was not accepted!
Costs for 2 x 8 photo's (bigger and smaller sized ones) was 150 rupees or about 1,50 euro.

With the Consulate Certified letter, the photo's, the copies of my Passport and Driving License AND my original Passport and Driving License I went to Ekantahkuna for having my NPDL made.

First the Form, I bought it just outside the offices where people had set up desks helping you (for a small fee) filling out these forms, glueing the photo's to all the needed places, and pointing out where I had to sign. Also a post-stamp had to be attached to pay some kind of official dues. All in all this cost me about 100 rupees (about 1 euro).
With this form I was sent for the Medical Tests inside the Offices. For the medical tests I had to buy a ticket (40 rupees or 0,40 euro) with the box at the entrance of the offices compound. The test itself was a joke, I walked in, had my finger pricked to have my blood type established and then the MD looked me over (literally in 2 seconds) and signed off on the paperwork. Whatever... medical test...

After this I had to show everything to an official who's only task it was to register new licenses. He checked the paperwork, and all the copies, originals and everything, and signed off for all being ok. Then I was sent to the head of the offices there, who also had to put his signature on it.

Then I had to take my signed paperwork and wait in line for hours and hours (a very, very, very long queue) to pay my dues for the license and receive the official driving license piece of paper on which is to become my NPDL. This cost me 1400 rupees (about 14 euro) and I had the impression I had to pay more then most of the others because I wanted both my Motorcycle and my Car Driving Licenses on my NPDL. I am not sure if I paid double, I might have, or it might have been somewhere in between.
(Oh, and as a foreigner you can walk around this queue, go into the building, and ask a guard to open the gate for you, so that you can actually go into the offices, and pay your dues there, instead of waiting with all the Nepalese for hours and hours. Just for the cost of a few friendly smiles and a few rupees for the guard ... )

Then, when you have the paper for the driving license, (and your invoice, which is the actual proof for having paid, and which you need to show later!) you need to get it typed up with your personal details. Just outside the offices there are again people sitting with desks and typewriters, who will type your information onto the driving license piece of paper, glue your photo to it, and prepare everything. Fee for this was 50 rupees or 0,50 euro. With this typed up driving license paper it is then back to the office where the license will actually be registered into the books. (No computer, books!) The officer will accept your driving license paper with all the previously signed documents, and tell you to come back in a couple of days for collecting your prepared NPDL. He gave me a date of three working days later for the NPDL to be ready.

But... actually the only thing he has to do, is register your NPDL number into his books, have you put your thumb-prints into the same book, put your signature on the NPDL, and then have his superior sign everything off. And then put the official holographic sticker on your NPDL across both your photo and the paper of the driving license, which makes it all an official NPDL.

To have him do this today would inconvenience him since he had to make an extra run to his superior, instead of following the normal process. Every inconvenience has its price, and I was very grateful not having to spend an extra 1000 rupees to the taxi and mainly wasting another one of my working days traveling to Ekantakhuna just to collect my NPDL.

After receiving your official NPDL you can have it laminated in the same place where before you had it typed up, which is a very good idea, since the holographic sticker is quite vulnerable, and without it, your NPDL is worthless ... and the nice this was that when I went back to the same person who had typed it all up, she laminated the driving license for free. :)


Hello everyone! Can somebody tell me what is the price to get driving license in Nepal for a nepali citizen?

Renewal of Driving License:

Can any one tell me pls that what is the last date for renewal of expired driving license...

Is itt possible to renew it in abcense of license holder...

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Excuse me for being honest and so direct: have you observed the way they drive, notably in the capital of Kathmandu?
Enough to discourage a regiment
If you want to drive there, be my guest
But personally, you could not pay me to even attempt it!!

PS for years, I have used the same (taxi) driver or drivers - far better, smarter and above all SAFER - One of them is now my friend, buddy and even ¨brother¨

now, the choice is up to you!

Sure foreigner in Nepal can have Nepalese driving license...

If you are here for short term visa , you can have or covert your license . Long term visa like work, residence, dependent or family can seek to have nepalese driving license.

If you have already driving lesson from you home country , you can covert into nepalese which requires the follow documents.

1. your passport
2. your residence permit photocopy
3. Letter from your embassy ( No objection letter)
4. Signed and stamped form which you can do with help of nepalese friend
5. Two photos
6. You current license and its photocopy

After collecting these documents, you should visit Transport management office in ekantakuna lalitpur and meet the head of the office in Room no. 11 or ask someone there  to point room of Head , they are polite when it comes to foreigner...  Head will verify  the documents and  do further procedures...

For new license , for  you should learn driving and add driving school certificate in above list ...  if you are seeking good driving school in nepal google suzuki driving school and explore more about them...

Hope , we satisfied your query ...


Never drive without an international or Nepali drivers' license. If you do and get into an accident you will be totally at fault and there is a required jail term, from what I understand. At best, it would cost you a lot of money to get out of any problem.

You can get an International drivers' license from AAA Auto club in the US or you can inquire about this in your country.

If you want to get a drivers' license in Nepal it will take you a few days and at least $100, I think, because you won't want to stand in the queue for a couple days. It's really a mess at the Nepali DMV.

One option would be to take a motor cycle guide to drive you. The young men are a lot of fun and they will keep you safe for around $20 a day. I know a couple of motorcycle guides, so anyone can contact me if you need someone.

Hiya im going to Nepal at the end of January,I was thinking of taking my driving test ther to get international driving license;i live in England.. I have a clean provisional driving license;;I read what you had to say about taking motor cycle boys with me,,i have all the documents apart from residency permit;;will I still be able to get driving licence,,many thanks Dean

Hi guys can I get international driving licience in Nepal if I have clean provisional driving licence in England I not mind taking the test;;;can you help many thanks Dean I be in Nepal end of january

For those of you who live in Nepal....you know the situation (and very possibly better than I)
But for the benefit of those who may still be abroad and considering to go to Nepal for any length of time, getting a driving license should not be the issue. What has not been mentioned here to date by contributors is the high cost of acquiring the car that you will wish to drive.
If you are thinking of buying a used car, that is one thing. But if you are thinking of purchasing a new car after your arrival in Nepal, you should know that the price they'll quote to you in the showroom will include a 245% import/duty levied by the tax authorities. In Nepal, a car is classified as a luxury item.
The percentage cited dates from 2015/2016 but to the best of my knowledge, it is still valid at this time.

The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) just reported here that as many as 26,529 people were driving around Kathmandu Valley without a licence (source: HT)
Can't say this is very reassuring. The report does not say how many people are also - same same as the nepalis say -illegally driving happy go-lucky around in the rest of the country??
Also, the report does not say what the Police is doing about finding a remedy for this deplorable situation or what fines are imposed on those who break the law?
Don't know what to make of this.
Driving schools anyone?

The latest news is that due to an unfortunate shortage of smart cards now affecting Nepal, more than 150,000 applicants seeking so-called "smart driving licenses" have been deprived of same. This is being  termed a "Government failure". It's been reported that applicants here have already been waiting six months for their digital made-in-India driving licenses. In Nepal, one must never despair. Traffic must be kept moving!

Taxi to Tobruk!

Beadwindow wrote:

JW...Dude, you said more complex than Thapa suggested? "You" lost "me" after two sentences. 'You" are the complicated one. I didn't want to grow old and die reading your novel. An English word for you: concise

Dude... I think you will lose a lot of people after just two sentences.
Same like in general I tune out when I see 'Beadwindow' appear in an article posting, and just skip over it. You have already left Nepal, which is a good thing, now I'm just waiting for you to leave the Nepal related fora.