If you plan to reside in Qatar for an extended period, obtaining a Qatar driving license should be one of your top priorities. Whether you are a first-time driver or an experienced one, it is essential to be aware of the driving license regulations in Qatar.
We have a detailed guide that provides a step-by-step explanation of the Qatar driving license procedure. It covers all the necessary information and requirements for obtaining a Qatar driving license, including the application process, required documents, fees, and the driving test.
Qatar Driving License Requirements
In Qatar, the minimum age requirement to apply for a light motor vehicle and motorcycle license is 18 years. However, the minimum age requirement to apply for a license for heavy vehicles such as trucks, buses, forklifts, etc., is 21 years.
To obtain a Qatar driving license, it is mandatory for the applicant to have a valid Residence Permit (QID). In cases where the QID has not been issued yet, a copy of the visa and the original passport of the applicant must be provided.
Here is a list of professions held by expatriates in Qatar that do not require driving and may make them ineligible to obtain a Qatar driving license.
According to the Traffic Department, the aforementioned restriction on certain professions for obtaining a Qatar driving license is aimed at reducing traffic congestion on the roads. If you are a company-sponsored expatriate, it is recommended that you verify the profession mentioned on your Qatar ID with a driving school to ensure that you are eligible for a driving license.
Does your current license work in Qatar?
Before enrolling in a driving course in Qatar, it is essential to check if your existing driving license (if you have one) is valid for exchange or direct test. Depending on the country of issuance of your existing driving license, you may be eligible for a simpler process:
- Driving licenses provided by some countries can be easily redeemed for a Qatar Driving License without a driving test.
- A driving license provided by some countries makes you qualified for a direct road test without registering for a driving course.
- A driving license provided by some countries makes you qualified for a short training course, which means you can do the half course rather than the full course.
Check with any authorized driving school or the Traffic Department to know your eligibility.
Qatar Driving License Procedure
Follow the following steps-
Choose your driving school
There are multiple government-authorised driving schools located in Doha, Qatar. All driving schools in Qatar follow a common curriculum, which is regulated and administered by the Ministry of Interior’s General Directorate of Traffic.
Apply for NOC on Metrash2
Previously, applicants were required to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their sponsor in writing. However, this process has been updated, and now sponsors can provide online approval for their employees to obtain a Qatar driving license. This can be done through the Metrash2 mobile app or the Ministry of Interior (MOI) website.
If the applicant is sponsored by a company, the company can provide the necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC) through the company’s Metrash2 application.
If the applicant is personally sponsored, the sponsor must provide the NOC through their Metrash2 application.
Qatari males do not require an NOC, but for Qatari females, the guardian must provide the NOC using the Metrash2 application.
- Log in to the Metrash2 app
- Select Traffic services
- License Service then License NOC
- Enter your QID or Visa number
- Click New Issue
- Choose license category (motorcycle, bus, car, etc)
- Enter your email id, and select Next
- When you’ve reviewed the request details, click Confirm.
- The sponsor will receive a Metrash notification once it’s approved.
- Companies and individuals with smart cards can also complete this process on the MOI website. Follow the following steps-
Visit the E-service page on the MOI website
Please visit e-service page on MOI
Select ‘Traffic Service’
Select ‘Driving License’
Select ‘ Driving License NOC ‘
Fill in all the details and submit the form
The sponsor will receive notification after it is approved
3. Eye test for Qatar driving license
An eye test is a mandatory requirement for all applicants applying for a Qatar driving license, and it can be conducted at most driving schools. However, if you have already taken an eye test at an approved optometrist or ophthalmologist by the Traffic Department, you can bring the Eye Test Certificate and submit it along with your application.
If the eye test is conducted at a driving school, the result will be updated on the MOI portal. The cost for the eye test typically ranges between QR 25 and QR 50.
4. Choose course duration
If you possess a valid driving license from another country, you might be eligible to take a half course in Qatar. However, you need to obtain approval from the Traffic Department by submitting your old driving license. Your driving school will check your eligibility and recommend a suitable course for you.
A full driving course in Qatar typically includes 40 practical classes, along with theory and simulator classes. However, if you have a previous driving license from another country, you may be eligible for a half course which typically includes only 20 practical classes.
5. Pay the course fee and submit the required documents
The applicant may choose any government-approved driving school in Qatar to submit their documents and enroll in a driving course.
you can download the application form for New Driving License
Same application form would be used for light and heavy Vehicle
Required documents for foreign residents
- Valid Qatar ID
- NOC by Metrash2
- 4 pictures of color passport size photo
- Eye test certificate
- Original home country license if applying for half-course.
- Make sure your photos are taken with spectacles if you are wearing them while driving.
6. Theory Lessons (about traffic laws in Qatar, traffic signs, driving ethics, etc.)
Theory classes are an important part of the driving course in Qatar, and they cover topics such as traffic laws, road signs, driving safety, and more. Most driving schools offer these classes either on a computer or tablet, and some even provide mock tests with instant results to help you track your progress. Typically, theory classes last for five days. Additionally, some schools also offer simulator training that helps to improve steering balance and vehicle control.
7. Theory test
After completing the theory lessons, you will be able to take the theory test, which is now conducted online using the driving school’s computer. The test is available in several languages, and you must answer at least 37 out of 40 questions correctly to pass.
8. Practical lessons- Parking
During practical lessons, the instructor will teach you how to drive in various traffic situations and conditions, including in residential areas, highways, and roundabouts. They will also train you on parking and reversing techniques. The practical lessons can be booked according to your convenience and availability, and most driving schools offer flexible timings. The fees for practical lessons may vary depending on the number of lessons you require and the type of vehicle you are training on.
During practical lessons, you will receive one-to-one driving instruction and practice driving on main roads with a driving instructor. The goal is to develop the necessary driving skills and techniques required to drive safely and confidently on the roads.
You will also receive instruction on parking, including the two main parking tests known as the “L” and “P” tests. These tests assess your ability to park the vehicle in specific spaces, and are a mandatory part of the practical driving test in Qatar.
9. Parking test
Once you have completed your practical lessons, you will be assigned a test date for the parking test, where you must complete both the “L” and “P” tasks on the same day. The “L” task refers to perpendicular parking, while the “P” task refers to parallel parking. The tests are computerized, and you will receive instant results.
11. Final Road Test
Once you complete the road training, you will be assigned a test date for the road test. The test will be conducted on a driving school vehicle with three or four people inside, taking turns to drive. A Traffic Police Officer will be present in the vehicle to assess your driving abilities.
Time Required to Complete Driving Course
On average, it takes approximately 90 to 110 days to complete the regular full course, which includes theory training and test, waiting time, practical training, and tests.
The standard half course usually takes around 65 to 90 days to complete, including theory training and testing, waiting time, practical training, and testing.
The time frame for completing the course may vary from driving school to driving school, depending on their schedules and availability of resources. It is advisable to check with the driving school directly for more information on their specific timelines.
Driving Test Procedure in Qatar
To register for the driving test, you will need to pay a small fee. The test is divided into different modules that are usually taken on separate days.
- Theory test for road and traffic signs
- Parking test (L and P)
- Road test
Each of the tests is a prerequisite for the next, and passing one exempts you from having to repeat it. However, failing any part of the test will prevent you from proceeding to the next stage.
If you fail the test, you can retake it within a specified time frame without incurring an additional charge. However, you will need to retake the part(s) of the test that you have failed, and you cannot proceed to the next stage until you pass all the previous stages.
According to the Traffic Department’s announcement in March 2016, both the Full Course and Half Course driving programs now provide two attempts for the Road Test. While the Signal and Parking Tests offer unlimited attempts, an applicant who fails those tests must pay a QR 50 test fee to schedule another test date
Qatar Driving License Fees
|Types of License||Amount||Validity|
|Qatari Citizen ( Light Vehicle )||QR 500||10 Years|
|Foreign Resident ( Light Vehicle )||QR 250||5 Years|
|Qatar Citizen ( Heavy Vehicle )||QR 600||10 Years|
|Foreign Resident ( Heavy Vehicle )||QR 300||5 Years|
|Qatari Citizen ( Motorcycle )||QR 300||10 Years|
|Foreign Citizen ( Motorcycle )||QR 150||5 Years|
|Driver’s learning license ( all vehicles )||QR 150||3 Months|
|Permit for driving taxi vehicles, limousine, and public transport vehicles||QR 250||Annual|
All charges at the Traffic Department must be paid with a credit/debit card.
Automatic/ Manual Transmission Vehicles
Driving schools offer both manual and automatic transmission vehicles for light vehicles. If you qualify for your examination in an automatic, then you can be allowed to drive only automatic cars. However, once you pass in a manual car, you can drive both manual and automatic cars.
How to Exchange/ Transfer a Foreign License in Qatar
- “Driving licenses from some countries (mainly western countries)” could be rephrased as “Some countries, mostly western ones, allow their driving licenses to be exchanged directly.”
- “Please check with any driving school to know if your driving license is eligible for direct exchange” could be rewritten as “You can check with any driving school to find out if your license can be exchanged directly.”
- “Please note that only expatriates with valid Residence Permits can apply for this” could be made more concise by saying “Note that only expatriates with valid Residence Permits are eligible.”
To add to that, the driving test for GCC license holders includes both a theory and a practical test. The theory test will cover traffic laws and regulations specific to Qatar, and the practical test will assess your driving skills on the road. Upon passing both tests, you can get your Qatar driving license without having to complete the regular training course. It’s important to note that this only applies to individuals who hold a valid GCC driving license and a valid Qatar Residence Permit.
Recent Changes to the Qatar Driving License System
The Traffic Department has made several changes to the driving license system over the past few years. Here are some of the changes:
- Unified driving curriculum : A standardized driving curriculum has been implemented by the Traffic Department for all driving schools.
- Unified contract for all driving schools : A unified contract has been implemented for all driving schools in the country, which clearly outlines their obligations to trainees. The schools are prohibited from imposing additional fees on trainees beyond what is specified in the contract. If a trainee discontinues the course, the contract stipulates that the school must refund the balance amount according to its provisions.
- Guardian can be there for the female driving trainee : If the instructor is male, a female trainee has the right to request the presence of a male guardian.
- The curriculum is available in more than 18 languages. : The current unified curriculum is now accessible in over 18 languages commonly spoken in Qatar, as opposed to the previous limit of ten languages.
- Road test after passing the theory test only : Unless a trainee passes the theory test based on the information provided in the new curriculum, he/she will not be permitted to take the road test.
- You need to know the basics of automobiles : The syllabus covers not only driving skills and traffic laws but also topics such as vehicle safety checks, including inspection of lights, engine, engine oil, and tire pressure.
- No more short courses : Short courses have been eliminated, and new students are required to enroll in either the half or full course.
- No more exceptions for Saudi, Kuwait license holders : The practice of granting driving licenses to individuals holding licenses issued by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has been discontinued in Qatar. Now, they must enroll in a driving school and pass the tests.
FAQs on Qatar’s New Driving License Rules:
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Qatar’s New Driving License Rules:
Q: What are the new driving license rules in Qatar?
A: Qatar has introduced new driving license rules that aim to improve road safety and reduce traffic accidents. Under the new rules, drivers will need to complete a new set of training courses and tests to obtain or renew their driving license. The courses include classroom instruction on traffic safety, defensive driving, and first aid, as well as practical driving lessons.
Q: When do the new driving license rules come into effect?
A: The new driving license rules came into effect on 1st September 2021.
Q: Who needs to comply with the new driving license rules?
A: All drivers in Qatar, including Qatari nationals, residents, and visitors, need to comply with the new driving license rules when applying for or renewing their driving license.
Q: What are the new categories of driving licenses?
A: Under the new rules, driving licenses are divided into five categories, including motorcycles, light vehicles, heavy vehicles, public transport, and trailers. Drivers will need to pass different sets of tests and training courses to obtain a license in each category.
Q: How long is the validity of the new driving license?
A: The validity of the new driving license depends on the category of the license. Light vehicle driving licenses are valid for ten years, while heavy vehicle driving licenses are valid for five years. Motorcycle and public transport driving licenses are valid for three years, and trailer driving licenses are valid for two years.
Q: Can I renew my existing driving license under the new rules?
A: Yes, existing driving license holders can renew their license under the new rules. However, they will need to complete the new set of training courses and tests before renewing their license.
Q: Where can I complete the new training courses and tests?
A: The new training courses and tests are conducted by the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department. You can check the schedule and register for the courses on their website or mobile app.
Q: What happens if I fail the new driving license tests?
A: If you fail any of the driving license tests, you will need to complete additional training and retake the test. The number of times you can retake the test is limited, and you may need to wait for a specific period before retaking the test.
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