Getting a Driving License in Qatar

A valid driving licence is compulsory for anyone driving a vehicle in Qatar. It is possible to drive in Qatar with a non-Qatari driving licence for a limited time.


Non-Qatari citizens must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age for a light driving licence or motorcycle licence
  • Be 21 years of age for a heavy vehicle driving licence or for agricultural or construction vehicle licences
  • Complete the driving licence application form
  • Provide a no-objection letter from the applicant’s sponsor (in Arabic)
  • Have a valid passport and copy of this
  • Submit a copy of sponsor’s ID card
  • Provide three recent, coloured, passport sized photographs
  • Have a residence permit

The Driving Test

To take the driving test it is first necessary to apply to a driving school for lessons. For expatriates who have already had experience driving, it is possible to take a half course.

To be able to take the test a new driver must have had:

  • At least 15 hours of theory classes
  • A minimum of 35 hours of driving lessons

Drivers who already have a driving licence from another country but are not able to exchange their licence must have at least 15 hours of theory lessons before they can sit the driving test.

Authorised Driving Schools in Doha:

  • Al Rayah Driving School, Tel: 4487 7774
  • Doha Driving Center, Tel: 4479 2263
  • Gulf Driving School, Tel: 4465 2822
  • United Driving Company, Tel: 4468 1003

All the above driving schools teach lessons in English and Arabic.

Taking the driving test

The driving test includes the following:

  • A theory test. This is an oral test where a number of questions are asked about traffic regulations and signs
  • Reverse parking test
  • Straight parking test
  • A road test

It is also necessary to pass an eye test, which is usually carried out before the theory and practical part of the test.

The driving test may be taken in English or Arabic. All parts of the test are usually taken on the same day. However, if the applicant fails one part of the test, they will not proceed to the next stage of the test. The applicant is usually informed at each stage whether they have passed or failed.

Tests are usually conducted on manual transmission cars with four people in the car. Female applicants take the test with a female traffic police officer. The test is considered to be difficult and approximately 50 percent of applicants fail on their first attempt.

Failing the driving test

In the event of failing the test, it is necessary to reapply and take the test again, usually within a month. It is normally not necessary to repeat any parts of the test that were successfully passed.

Exchanging a Foreign Licence in Qatar

Currently, anyone who holds either a GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE) licence, or a licence from any of the following countries, is permitted to obtain a full Qatar driving licence without having to pass a test: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA and Vatican City.

Drivers who do not hold a licence from one of these countries, or who have no licence at all, are required to take a driving test.

Where to apply for a licence

To apply for a licence, either temporary or permanent, go to the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department. The offices are open from 07:00 to 11:00 and 16:00 to 19:00.

The process

To obtain a full driving licence, the following documents must be presented at the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department:

  • Original licence from one of the countries listed above
  • A letter of no objection/permission from the sponsor, written in Arabic
  • A copy of the trade licence of the sponsoring company
  • A copy of the sponsor’s ID
  • Passport (original and copies)
  • Three passport photos
  • Qatar ID card

The applicant must fill out an application form, which must be typed in Arabic and signed by the sponsor. Translation typing services are available on site for a small fee. The form can be downloaded in advance, but needs to be filled out at the Traffic Department.

It is also necessary to pass an eye test, which can be done on site.

A fee must also be paid by card. This includes the cost of the eye test.

The licence should be available for collection on the next working day, and is valid for five years. The vehicle entitlement will be the same as for the original licence, but a separate licence must be obtained for driving HGVs and buses.

Temporary licence

The procedure to apply for a temporary licence is the same as for a full licence. Documentation needed for this is as follows:

  • Original licence from one of the countries listed above.
  • Passport (original and copies)
  • Three passport photos

There is a fee for a temporary licence, and the licence is valid for three months. It is possible to extend the licence when it expires. In general, temporary licence holders are restricted to driving rental vehicles only, as insurance on privately-owned vehicles tends not to cover drivers of this status.

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