Are you planning to drive in Qatar and yet you only have a driver’s license which is not from Qatar? Worry not. If you are in Qatar, foreign driver’s license from selected countries can be exchanged into a Qatari one. Find out if your license is eligible to be converted into a local license.
Exchanging Foreign Driving License to a Qatari Driving License
Just like in any other country, a driver’s license is required if you will be driving in Qatar. You may apply for a Qatari Driving License at the Ministry of Interior Traffic Department, the department which handles all matters regarding licenses and traffic violations. The good thing for expats or non-Qataris who will be spending their years in Qatar is that if they’re already holding a non-Qatari Driving License, they can exchange it into a local one.
Who Can Exchange Their Foreign Driving License?
- Holder of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) License – This license is from countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE
- Holder of a license from any of the following countries (without having to pass a test): Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA and Vatican City
Since the list of approved countries can change, you may check the updated list at the Traffic Department. However, keep in mind that only expats with residence permits can have the option to exchange his foreign license into a local one.
What are the Requirements?
The following documents must be presented to the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department in order to process the license.
- Original foreign license (must be from one of the countries listed above)
- A letter, written in Arabic, stating no objection from the sponsor
- A copy of the trade license of the sponsoring company
- A copy of the sponsor’s ID
- Passport (original and copies)
- Three passport size photos
- Qatar ID card
What are the Procedures?
- Fill out the application form for Qatar driver’s license at the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department. Though the said form can be downloaded in advance, it still needs to be filled out at the Traffic Department.
- Have the application form be typed in Arabic and signed by the sponsor. You can pay for translation typing services on site.
- Submit the application, together with all the documentary requirements, to the reception at the Traffic Department.
- After all the submitted documents have been verified, you will be required to do a vision test. A vision test is mandatory for all applicants. This can be done at the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department, or through a private hospital, clinic or licensed professional.
- Pay for the fee using a pay card. The license fee for non-Qatari is QR250. Additional fee may be applied for the vision test.
- The license should be ready for claiming on the next working day.
Once the foreign license is exchanged into a Qatari one, the license will be valid for five years. The vehicle entitlement for those who exchange their foreign license into a Qatari license will be the same as that for the original license. However, if the expat will be driving heavy good vehicles and buses, a separate license must be obtained.
Getting a driver’s license in Qatar is easy. Exchanging foreign driver’s license into a Qatari one is easier. Now if you already have a Qatari driver’s license and you just need to renew it, you may check this article for details.