A valid driving license is a legal requirement to drive in Qatar. The Traffic Department is the authorised authority for issuing driving licenses. Visitors can drive for a week (7 days from the date of their arrival in Qatar) using approved licenses from certain countries. To check the validity of your home country license, you can visit the Traffic Department at Madinat Khalifa.
But, for individuals planning to reside in Qatar for more than six months, it is necessary to apply for a temporary or permanent Qatari Driving License. For GCC residents, the Gulf license will remain valid for 3 months from date of arrival in the country. But, if you are a resident of Qatar, then you need to hold a Permanent Qatari License.
If you wish to drive for more than a week, you will have to apply for a Temporary Driving License which has a validity of three months. The Temporary License can be renewed after its expiry.
With a temporary license you can drive rental cars, although you may not be insured to drive a privately owned car (as this is decided by the insurance company, and they should be contacted for more details). On obtaining a residence permit, the temporary license can be converted into a permanent one. But, the permanent license will be given only if you possess a residence permit, and have five-year validity.
To apply for a temporary license:
- Fill in the requisite application form collected from the traffic department, and submit it with the following documents attached to the Traffic Department.
- Original license from an approved country
- Original and copies of your passport
- Three colour photos - passport size, white background. Kindly note that if you need to wear glasses while driving, you should be wearing it in the photos as well.
International Driving License (6 months validity)
If you have a valid international driving license, it can be used for up to six months from the date of your arrival in Qatar. Generally, temporary and international license holders are allowed to drive only rental vehicles, as insurance companies require that drivers of privately-owned vehicles possess a permanent driving license.
The International Driving License can be obtained from Qatar Automobile and Touring Club (Ph: +974 4441 5718) or few Travel Agencies. To do so, you will need to bring along the following:
- Valid Qatar Driving License
- Passport-size photos - 2 nos.
- Process fee (varies)
Permanent Driving License
To apply for Permanent Driving License:
- Download the fill in the application form from the website https://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal
- Submit the form, along with the required documents therein to the Medinat Khalifa Traffic Department. The documents to be submitted are:
- Copy of your ID
- Three latest personal photographs
- Copies of passport and the employer’s ID (for residents, employers are required to sign the application form for the new license, specifying its type).
- Complete the required tests
- Pay the appropriate fee.
The fee for a new private vehicle driving license for Qataris is QR500 with a validity of 10 years, QR250 for non-Qataris with validity for 5 years. Additional fee may be applicable for driving and vision tests.
Note: A vision test is mandatory for all applicants, and can be completed at the Traffic Department of Interior Ministry or through a private hospital, clinic or any licensed professional.
For those visiting Qatar from western countries including the Canada and the UK for work purposes can just change their home country driving license for a Qatari one at the Medinat Khalifat Traffic Department, without taking a driving test.
The documents required to be produced are
- Passport or ID Card
- Original driving license
- Sponsor’s ID
- The sponsor need to sign a form and may have to provide a letter
- Three photos
Residents of other nationalities will have to undergo a driving test to obtain their local driving license. It is compulsory that these applicants have a residence permit so as to be able to apply for a Qatari driving license. In order to issue a local driving license, the usual procedure includes an eye test and a written test.
To enrol in a driving school in Qatar:
If you do not hold a valid driving license from your country of origin or home country, you will have to enrol yourself in a driving school in Qatar.
The minimum age limit for learning to drive in Qatar is 18 years. Those applying for a driving license for the first time should register with one of the Authorised Driving Schools. To gain eligibility for taking up the test, a learner should have at least 15 hours of theoretical classes, and minimum of 35 hours of driving lessons. The classes may be offered by male and female instructors and the test can be taken in English or Arabic.
The driving test will comprise of a Theoretical Test, Parking, and Road Test. All parts of the test are compulsory and will be informed at each stage whether you have passed or failed. If you fail one part of the test, you cannot proceed to the next stage of test. You will have to pass an eye test too.
On successful completion of the test, you will be issued a driving license immediately. If you fail, you can retake the test within a specified time frame without any additional charges. However, you do not have to retake the parts of the test that you have already completed successfully the previous time.
The documents required for enrolling are:
- Copy of Passport with visa or Immigration ID copy
- Fee to be paid (varies depending on the course)
- May have to complete an eye test at the traffic department in Medinat Khalifat or certificate from licensed optician.
Authorized Driving Schools in Qatar
Given below are details/contacts of few driving schools in Qatar:
Dallah Driving Academy, Tel: 77939893 , 77372763 or 55047880
- Doha Driving Centre, PO Box 9896, Tel: +974 4792263 / +974 44792264
- Gulf Driving School, PO Box 15154, Tel: +974 4465 2666
- United Driving Company, PO Box 15154,Wholesale Market, Doha Tel: +974 4681003 / 4
Madinat Khalifa (North), off Khalifa Street, near Al Gharrafa Flyover, Tel: +974 4890644
Timing: 7am to 11am and 4pm to 7pm
Applicants can renew the driving licenses on their own or if you are under a personal sponsorship, it can be renewed by the concerned sponsor through Ministry of Interior online website. The service is available for Qataris and residents holding smart ID cards. However, prior to renewal, ensure that you have no traffic violations or penalties
- Log in to Interior Ministry e-services portal and choose ‘Traffic Services’.
- Choose whether to renew your driving license or that of a sponsored person.
- View the driving license information and specify the new driving license delivery option.
- Pay the fee and print receipt.
Note: A driving license can be renewed only within six months prior to its date of expiry. The driving license can also be renewed through https://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal/services/inviduallandingpages/metrash2/metrash2/.
QR500 for Qataris (ten years), apart from QR20 delivery fee (if applicable)
QR250 for residents (five years), apart from QR20 delivery fee (if applicable)