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Driving in Qatar: Rules You Need to Know to Stay Legal and Safe

Qatar's Driving rules for Visitors & Residents

Do you love driving on the roads of Qatar? Nevertheless, before you get behind the wheel, you should read the whole guide to driving in Qatar with a foreign driver’s license or applying for a Qatar driver’s license.

How can visitors drive in Qatar?

A few countries allow visitors with visit visas, business visas, and tourist visas to drive in Qatar with conditions. These options depend on the duration of your stay:

Driving with another country’s license

On approved licenses from some countries, visitors can drive for a week. To verify the validity of your license, visit the Traffic Department at Madinat Khalifa. Qatar permits citizens of GCC countries to drive for an unlimited period with their GCC driving license. However, expatriates with GCC licenses can only drive for one week.

Temporary Driving License

Those who wish to drive more than a week can apply for a 3-month Temporary License. Licenses can be extended when they expire.

How do I apply for a temporary driving license in Qatar?

Within a week of your arrival in Qatar, you must submit the application form along with the following documents:

  • License from an approved country.
  • Original passport and copies.
  • 3-color passport photo with white background. You must wear glasses while driving if you need them.
  • The fee for the card is QR 10, and for applying it is QR 150.

International Driving License

If you enter the country with a valid international driving license, you can use it for up to six months. The state of Qatar recognizes only driving licenses issued by your country of origin. This is also required if you wish to use an international driving permit.

How residents can drive in Qatar?

Qatar requires all citizens and expatriates to possess a full and valid Qatari driving license.

Getting a Qatar driving license

  • Eligibility- 18 years for light vehicles and 21 years for heavy vehicles.

Some expatriates (mostly blue-collar workers) are not eligible to apply for a driving license.

  • Fee- QR 500 valid for 10 years for residents; and QR 250 valid for 5 years for non-Qataris. There are additional fees for driving courses, tests, and vision exams.

Qatar Traffic Department

All licensing and traffic violations are handled by the traffic department of the Ministry of Interior. The Traffic Department is located on Khalifa Street in Madinat Khalifa, and it is open from 7 AM to 11 AM and 4 PM to 7 PM.

Traffic Violations

The Qatari government is committed to reducing traffic violations and road accidents. Traffic violations include:

These are some of the common traffic violations in Qatar:

  1. Driving an unregistered vehicle.
  2. Driving a vehicle without a valid driving license.
  3. Using a mobile phone while driving.
  4. Driving over the speed limit.
  5. Not wearing a seatbelt.
  6. Running a red light.
  7. Driving on the wrong side of the road.
  8. Allowing children under 10 years old to occupy the front seat.
  9. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  10. Not maintaining a distance of at least 50 meters from emergency vehicles.
  11. Putting a load on a vehicle without adjusting it for safety.
  12. Transporting a greater number of people in a vehicle than there are available seat belts.
  13. Obstructing parking spots reserved for taxis or persons with disabilities.
  14. Fleeing the scene after an accident.
  15. Parking illegally

Qatari traffic fines range from QR 300- to QR 6,000.

Driving without a license

Driving without a valid license is a serious traffic violation in Qatar. It is illegal to drive a vehicle without a valid driving license and doing so can result in fines, impoundment of the vehicle, and even imprisonment in certain cases. All drivers in Qatar are required to have a valid Qatari driving license or an international driving license issued by a recognized authority. It is important for visitors and residents to obtain the necessary documentation before driving in Qatar to avoid legal consequences.

Traffic Points

In Qatar, a traffic points system is used to monitor and penalize drivers who commit traffic violations. Each violation carries a certain number of points, and if a driver accumulates a certain number of points, their license may be suspended or revoked.

Here is a breakdown of the points system in Qatar:

  • Driving without a license: 6 points
  • Driving with an expired or suspended license: 4 points
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: 7 points
  • Reckless driving: 6 points
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 km/h: 6 points
  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30-50 km/h: 4 points
  • Exceeding the speed limit by less than 30 km/h: 3 points
  • Running a red light: 4 points
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: 2 points
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: 3 points

If a driver accumulates 14 points or more within a year, their license will be suspended for three months. If they accumulate 18 points or more within two years, their license will be suspended for six months. If a driver accumulates 24 points or more within three years, their license will be revoked and they will have to reapply for a new license after one year

In repeat cases, points thresholds are lowered, suspensions are longer, and in the end, driving privileges are permanently revoked.

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Written by Saleh wasim

Blogger who writes topics such as Employment, News, travel, sports, events and life in Gulf.

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