The process of getting a driving license for oneself can be quite arduous in some countries. A driving license is a legal document which signifies the trust placed in you as a responsible driver by the concerned authorities of your state. It has to be renewed after a certain period of time and also when new regulations are formulated by the legislative heads of a country.
Getting license from the Qatar Traffic Department
Recently, the government of Qatar introduced some remarkable changes with respect to laws dealing with granting a driver’s license in Qatar. Driving licenses are issued by the Traffic Department located in Madinat Khalifa. The Traffic Department has laid out diverse procedures for obtaining a license depending upon whether the prospective driver is a citizen of Qatar with residence permit, or he/she is a foreign visitor. Further there are different procedures for getting a temporary license and a permanent one. There are severe penalties for both citizens and foreigners driving without a valid license.
Types of driving licenses in Qatar
- Week License – Issued to foreigners who visit the country for a week provided they already have license.
- Temporary license for 3 months – foreigners can apply for a temporary license by filling documents such as approved driving license, passport copy and 2 color personal photos.
- International driving license for 6 months – Non-Qatari nationals can drive in Qatar using an International driving license for 6 months.
- Qatar driving license – It is the permanent driving license.
Driving License for Qatari nationals
The first step in the direction of obtaining a license for yourself is to join one of the driving schools. After some training and practice the applicant is required to qualify two tests, one of which is theoretical and examines your knowledge regarding traffic rules and signals, the other one is a practical test which actually determines whether the applicant has the requisite qualities and abilities needed for driving.
Some additional requirements
- The fee for obtaining driving license is QR 500 for Qatari nationals.
- Applicants above 18 years can be allowed to drive light vehicles.
- Applicants above 21 years can drive heavy vehicles.
- The license remains valid for a period of 10 years after which it automatically expires and has to be renewed again.
Driving license for foreign visitors: temporary and permanent
Foreign visitors are legally permitted to drive for a week using their licenses from home countries. But if anybody wants to reside in Qatar for more than six months, they must apply for a temporary or permanent license. A temporary license is only valid for three months and subject to renewal after that. Temporary license can be acquired even if you don’t have a residence permit, however in order to obtain a permanent license a residence permit is strictly required. Also, it is highly possible that the visitors carrying temporary license won’t be allowed to drive privately owned cars, mostly they are only permitted to drive rental cars.
Requirements for temporary license
- Getting an application form from the Traffic Department.
- Submission of the form.
- Passport, original license, three color photos.
Requirements for permanent license
- Application form
- Approval letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Copy of your valid ID, employment ID etc
- Passport, original license, recent photos.
Anybody holding an international driving license is legally permitted to drive for six months after arriving in Qatar.
General laws governing driving license in Qatar from 2020
The Qatar Government issued new guidelines for obtaining driver’s license in 2020. They are as follows:
- No one is allowed to drive in Qatar without a driving license. Severe penalties can be attributed in accordance with the Qatar Traffic Law.
- The conditions differ for applying the driver’s license according to many criteria as conditions are different from foreign nationals and residents.
- Those looking to obtain driving license must clear the driving test. They must pass a practical and a theory test in order to pass.
Test for driving license
There are two tests earmarked for getting the driving license in Qatar. They are –
- Theoretical Test – it is conducted in Arabic and questions are regarding traffic rules, signals and principal in car mechanics. Those who don’t know Arabic will have to take the test orally.
- Practical test – Once the applicants pass the theoretical test, they need to showcase their ability to drive in different conditions.
Fees for Obtaining Driving license
The fee for obtaining a driving license in Qatar is fixed at QR500 for Qatari nationals and is often valid for 10 years from the date of issuance by the competent authorities.