Qatar Driving License
Yesterday I obtained my driving license for Qatar. Here are a few items of note for those of you who are planning to do the same. I speak from my experience so if things are a bit different from what I am posting it just could be that you went to a different place but this was a driving school which was able to issue a license.
First off I had to make sure I had the correct paperwork. A letter from my employer and their computer number (not sure what they needed but my employer forgot to attach so we had to have one faxed). An application which was filled out in Arabic by my employer. A copy of my driver's license front and back as well as a copy of my Qatar ID front and back. The actual driver's license as well. And a copy of my Residency Permit. You will also need at least two if not more of the passport size photos for the paperwork and license.
Being from the US I could not just "trade in" my license like some from other countries. You can take what is called the Direct Test which is what I did on January 3rd. As long as I pass all parts I will be issued a license. I went early to the Al-Rayah Driving School near the old Traffic Dept., Bin Omran. You may go any day to get this paperwork done which opens at 5:00. I should say people are there at 5 am they don't do anything until 7:30 am to process any paperwork. Be prepared with cash and a credit or debit card because for some transactions they will take cash only or debit card only. The first thing was to pay for the eye test...30.00 QR. The eye doctor doesn't get there until 8:30 am. So pay one fee wait. Eye test done.
Go to the driving school area, have paperwork checked buy a book with the driving a light vehicle and the road signs pamphlet 30 QR. Pay for signal test and paperwork checked again 50 QR. Once you have completed that then you go to a window to get your appointment to take your driving test.
Here is where some information is important to those who are brand new to the country. The driving test day for women is on Thursdays for this school. Other driving schools may have a different day. You will be scheduled usually one week after you complete all of the paperwork. They do not allow men there and it is all women. I believe that the men are scheduled on all the other days. The other thing is you are scheduled for 5:30 am on the day of your driving test. Be prepared to wait but it is best to get there at that time.
Once there and they are ready to operate you will have your paperwork checked and if you are prepaid then you will be sent to take the signal test. Review the pamphlet, know the signs according to the way they have them written and say them just like that. The man pointed to 5 different signs and I was able to name them so I passed. From that point,you have to go to a window and pay 150 QR for the driving test, then you turn the paper in and wait until they start calling people to get on the buses for the driving test. You will receive your paperwork as you head towards the bus. I did forget one point...if you can drive a manual transmission you will go earlier and finish quicker. Most people opt for automatic. You are called and then put on buses where each bus follows a driver car. The first person to test usually drives to a point, they stop switch drivers and then the next person drives. Listen to the instructor and follow his directions. For women, there will always be a lady from the school in the back seat because you are not able to be in the vehicle with the instructor alone. As you complete the drive you will be told to pull over in an area to park, and you may get an indication as to whether or not you passed. The instructor may jot down a few notes and give you some suggestions. The one I had spoke little English so the lady told me what he advised. Once you finished you get back on the bus and wait until everyone is finished. It may take you at least two to three hours. Once you get back you wait until your name is called. If you receive a number that means you passed and you will pay 250 QR and receive a license within about 10-15 minutes.
Someone had posted a link to a site they thought were the correct signs. It wasn't. I also searched and could not find the signs. Most are pretty simple. I will try to scan and do an attachment soon.
I hope this will help those who are planning to get their license. I am now looking for a car either to rent or purchase.
Questions and Answers
- Sample Budget and Cost of Living
- Qatar Schools Database
- Residents Guide to Qatar
- Siteseeing in Qatar
- Traffic Rules
- Attending a Qatari Wedding
- Gift ideas from Qatar
- Buying a used car in Qatar
- Renting in Qatar
- What to consider when renting in Qatar
- Preparing for Winter in Qatar
- Registering a birth in Qatar
- Blackberry phones in Qatar
- Old Qatar
- What's Happening in Qatar
- Online Shopping in Qatar
- What does Doha look like?