10 FAQs about women driving in Saudi Arabia

As women have been permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia, there has been a lot of talk about it. Many are excited to drive whereas many are confused and opt not to start driving yet. The confusion is because they are not aware of many things about driving.

They have many questions in mind and they might not be answered correctly by people which might leave them discouraged. So here are 10 questions answered for female drivers in Saudi Arabia to help them out.

1-What is the driving age? The traffic regulations apply to both men and women according to which private license can be obtained at the age of 18. Exception for people reaching 17 is that they can obtain a temporary permit for one year.

nThe private license applies to all types of vehicles including motorbikes. For now, women are not permitted to drive trucks until some necessary conditions are met although age for obtaining a public license is 20.

3-What happens if you already have an international license? People who have an international and foreign driving license are excluded from the driving test as long as it is valid. However, they need to follow the procedure to convert foreign driving license with Saudi Driving License.

4-Can women with international driving license drive in Saudi Arabia? Women from other countries visiting Saudi Arabia who have an international or foreign driving license can drive with that license for a year after entry into the country or until the license expires (whichever happens first.)

5-Can women from abroad rent a car and drive? People with an international license can easily rent a car and this will be no exception to women. The only requirement is that the license must be valid.

An employee at Budget informed that this option is only available at Budget and Key for car rental, for now, rest of the companies require that the women must have a Saudi license.

6-Where do you go to get your driving license and what do the tests involve?  We have already explained the procedure to apply for the Saudi Driving License for Women in detail.

7-Where can you go to learn driving in Saudi Arabia? Currently, five universities have driving schools for women, namely Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, King Abdul Aziz University, Tabuk University, and Taif University.

Emirates Driving Institute and Princess Nourah University worked up a partnership to open the driving school at the University. Emirates is a renowned driving school in Dubai.

Ford Motor Company has launched the driving skills for life program in collaboration with Effat University. The Program focuses on imparting women with automotive knowledge and encouraging them behind the behind the wheel so that they drive confidently.

8-What happens if you commit a traffic offense? The girls’ care centers are to be used as detention centers for violations of traffic which require the woman to be arrested. Apart from this, the violators will also be disclosed to the public.

Driving a non-insured car is also a traffic offense which would be dealt with a fine ranging between 100 and 150 riyals.

9-Were women ever permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia? It is believed that women used to drive in rural areas at one time. Apart from that in institutes like King Abdullah University and Saudi Aramco women have been granted permits by special zone’s driving schools which allows them to drive within the institute.

According to a researcher inside the University, the driving environment of the King Abdullah University is similar to European countries.

Source: Arab News