How to procure a driving license in Qatar
A driving license is a legal requirement to drive a vehicle in the State of Qatar. The Traffic Department has the authority to issue driving licenses in Qatar. The validity and nature of a driving license can vary depending on the requirement of the driver and length of stay. The Traffic Department is located on Khalifa Street, Madinat Khalifa and is open from 7 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 7 pm. The following is everything you will need to know if you wish to attain one of these licenses.
- The 1-Week Rule
For individuals who have just arrived in Qatar, you are allowed to drive for one week on an approved license from some countries. To check the validity of your license, you can visit the Traffic Department.
- Temporary Driving Licence (Valid for 3 months)
For those who wish to drive for longer than a week, you can apply for a 3-month temporary license. It is also possible to extend this permit upon expiry. One will be required to fill an application form and submit it along with the following documents:
-An original license from an approved country
-Passport – original & copies
-Three colour photos – passport size, white background. (Note - If you require glasses while driving, submit photos wearing glasses.)
- International Driving License (Valid for 6 months)
Upon entering a country, a valid international driving license can be used up to 6 months. In most cases, temporary and international license holders are restricted to driving rental vehicles. This primarily because insurance companies require drivers of privately-owned vehicles to own a permanent license.
- Full Driving (Permanent) License
One will require a Qatar Residence Permit to be eligible to apply for a full Qatar Driving License. The licence fee for Qataris is QR500 (valid for 10 years) and QR250 for non-Qataris (valid for 5 years). There many driving schools across the State of Qatar that provide training and driving tests upon appointment. You will be required to pass a driving test to acquire your full driving license.
- Driving License Renewal
One can easily renew their driving license through the Ministry of Interior’s Metrash2 app. You will be asked to disclose any changes to your health that may affect your ability to drive since your last licence application. On the other hand, if you have been prescribed glasses, you should apply through the Traffic Department and retake the eye test to renew your license.
Be aware that driving without a valid driving license is a criminal offence with harsh penalties for non-compliance. If you are involved in an accident, your insurance will be void and you may face imprisonment and deportation. Make sure you plan in advance and are holding an appropriate, valid licence at all times.
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