Getting a License in Saudi Arabia

Getting a License in Saudi Arabia

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As an expat you might have certainly planned out a long-term stay in Saudi Arabia. And driving is most definitely the easiest and convenient way to get around the kingdom and its borders. You need to have a driver’s license to legally move within the city limits of Riyadh and beyond. Being a foreign expat you might have to especially get very well accustomed to the driving etiquette, road signage and driving style of Saudi Arabia. 

The legal age for driving in the kingdom is 18. Driving licenses of Gulf countries such as the USA. EU, Canada, New Zealand or Australia are approved by the traffic police of  Saudi Arabia. You are eligible to legally drive in the streets of the Kingdom if you possess an International Driver’s License. Anyhow, a small fraction of the car rental units and country’s insurance providers tend to not accept any other country license except for the Saudi one. The expats who don’t have the luxury of either an International Driver’s license or Saudi-approved foreign licenses may have to exchange their current license for a Saudi one. 

Here are the steps to follow to exchange your foreign license in Saudi Arabia. The general documents required for this process are; 4 Passport-sized photos, Medical Reports(Eyes and Blood Tests), an Original Residency Card along with a photocopy, Passport Photocopy, Valid Foreign Driver’s License and a Translated version of your foreign License.

Once all the required documents are in place, you have to follow these steps. 

  • First and foremost, you have to open an online account with the Ministry of Interior also known as an Absher account using your ID, phone number and bank details
  • Pay the allocated license fees amount of SR400
  • Log into the Saudi Driving License Portal
  • On the Electronic Service section, go to Appointments > Traffic > Book an Appointment
  • After the appointment is booked, go to the designated unit in the scheduled date and time
  • Provide all your documents
  • Participate in your practical driving test(If you are an approved country license holder, likely, you will not be asked to partake in this test)
  • The final step is to grab your license

If you do not hold any driver’s license with you, you have to follow the same process and steps mentioned above. But in addition, you might be required to attend a certain Driving school in the kingdom to gain practical and theoretical knowledge on driving and road safety. At the driving school, you might have to fill out an application form. You should also partake in a visibility test and will have to submit certain medical reports. 

Please check with the relevant authority before proceeding, as the information listed serves only as a guide and is subject to change.

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