Driving License Procedure

On your arrival to Qatar, you are permitted to drive in the country if you hold any valid driving license for 7 days only (which includes your day of arrival).  For those who expect to remain in Qatar for longer than 6 months, it is necessary to apply for either a temporary or permanent Qatari driving license.  If you are a resident of the G.C.C. countries, your Gulf license will be valid for 3 months from the date of your arrival in the country.  If you are a resident of Qatar you must have a permanent Qatari License.

A temporary license allows you to drive rental cars, however you may not be insured to drive a privately owned car - (this is at the discretion of the insurance company and they should be contacted to ensure coverage).  Once you get your residence permit you can convert a temporary license into a permanent license.  A permanent license, which you can get only if you have a residence permit, is valid for 5 years.

If you do not hold a valid driving license from any country you will have to enroll yourself into a driving school. Depending on your driving skills, you may be required to take a full course (25 classes) or a half course (12 classes). The duration and timings are usually flexible. The instructor will decide whether you're ready to take the test. They may also provide transport to pick and drop you.

To enroll you will need:
  • Passport copy with visa or Immigration ID copy
  • 5 passport size photos
  • QR1,800 full course (the prices may differ)
  • To complete an eye test at the traffic department in Madinat Khalifa or a certificate from a licensed optician / private clinic.

Driving licenses from most of the western countries can be converted.  There is no need for you to take the test or go to a driving school, though you are required to do an eye test at the traffic department.  If your license is from Asia, you may have to undergo a driving test or the traffic department will suggest on your application form to go to a driving school for two weeks (half the course).  Holders of GCC licenses can obtain a permanent Qatar license automatically, regardless of their country of origin.

If you still haven’t received a residence permit they will give you a temporary license after an eye test, and once you get your residence permit they will convert that into a permanent license.  If you have a business visa your sponsor will have to sign the Arabic application form to be submitted to the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department.

You will need:
•    The application form
•    Original driver’s license from your home country
•    Original passport or your Qatar ID
•    Copy of trade license (if you are sponsored by a company)
•    Copy of your sponsor’s ID
•    Original passport or your Qatar ID card
•    Copy of your passport
•    Four passport photos (with eye glasses if required)
•    To do the eye examination at the traffic department (cost QR 150 paid by credit card, cash is not accepted) or a certificate from a licensed optician / private clinic.

The Driving Test

You have to pay QR 50 to register for the test.  The test has 4 parts, an oral test for the road and traffic signs, then the L-parking, pocket parking, and the actual road test.  Take note that each test part is a prerequisite for the next, you need to pass the first before you can proceed to the next.  But after having passed one part, you do not have to repeat it again.  The tests are conducted in manual transmission cars and there may be up to four people in the car, each one taking turns to drive.  During the Holy month of Ramadan ladies are not permitted to take a road test.

To convert to a temporary license to a permanent driver's license
You will need:
•    Your temporary driver's license (TDL)
•    Two photos
•    Copy of passport  
•    Copy of your residence permit
•    Process fees of QR 155.
International Driving License
You can obtain an International driving license from the Qatar Automobile and Touring Club (Tel: 441 3265)  as well as some Travel Agencies (Regency Travels).  To do so, you will need to bring with you the following:
•    Valid Qatar Driving License
•    Passport
•    2 passport photos
•    Process fees of QR 100

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