Guest Post by Asad Nawaz
(Please note that this is Asad’s Personal experience and not a legal document/procedure/guideline or training document. Anyone who experienced making a driving license in Saudi Arabia might have different views or thoughts. So just consider it a human’s personal experience)
Note: Some Information in this article is out-dated, To get updated procedure of getting driving license, please visit this URL.
Many people are skeptical about the driving license process in Saudi Arabia. However though my experience I have observed that if you remained cool and confident during the whole process; it is not a big deal. Before going for driving license; I came across different experiences on many blogs and that frightened me a bit. However when I went through the whole processes on my own, I found it to be easy.
People in Dammam used to go to Khobar as being approachable. To new comers, I suggest going to Dallah School Dammam where as per observation things are a bit easier and with little bit of effort one can get the driving license with in 5 hours i.e around 11 am.
What you need Before going for actual Test
- Complete all the documents i.e.
- Letter from company attested by chamber of commerce
- Translation of your home country Driving License
- Application Form for Driving License in Saudi Arabia (get it filled from govt relation officer from your company)
Procedure to Make Driving License
Go to Dallah Driving School. Get application form stamped from Driving school and go for medical test. This ascertain your blood group and eye sight. No need to go to main hospitals.There is a nearby dispensary (I forgot its name) on same road. They complete the procedure with 15 minutes and you will get the report then and there.
After this come back to school again and pay SAR 100 fee being one day course fee. Not necessary to attend. However for test purpose; you must get your attendance slip signed from instructor ( I got it signed from two persons one for computer test that was done by some Bengali guy there and other for actual driving test). Instructor will give you the time for test which is normally next working day at around 6 AM.
As there is no rush in this school so you may come any time before six. I was near to end of queue. Still I managed all the things within few hours. Before entering the waiting area near to computer test room, school officer will get your file from you. You may keep your test material i.e. signal card, written contents, etc with you.
Computer Test (Often called Signals test)
The first test is that of multiple choice questions on touch screen computer. Normally Saudi Nationals are given priority over non Saudis for attempting this test first. Once your name is called, go to the computer room. Discard or throw exam material in the waste bin before going into test room. Officer there will check your Iqama and tell you the computer no. at which you have to attempt the test.
Besides Arabic, you may attempt this exam in Urdu, English and Hindi. Attempt in the language you are more comfortable. Before start of exam; listen the instructions carefully. This helps you in understanding the format. You may defer question for later purpose if you don’t know the answer. Normally first 10 questions must be answered correctly and after this 5 out of 10 should be correct. Exam finishes if you meet the criteria even before completion of 20 questions. Mine was completed on answering 15th or 16th question. I deferred one for later on answering but that didn’t come at later stage.
Preparation Material for the Computer Tests
- Signal Sheet given by school
- Rules and regulation and penalty sheet (One page carrying all the stuff). This was given by same bengali guy who signed the attendance slip as mentioned above.
- Third (which i believe helped me a lot) is the you tube video filmed by some Pakistani or Indian guy while taking the driving class
(Disclaimer about Video Material Below: The Videos below are not a part of this blog but they are just shared from a public link of YouTube. If you think these videos are illegal and should not be posted publicly on the internet please contact YouTube customer support.)
Some questions may come from outside of these contents, however with logical application; you may find the correct answer.
The Driving Test
Once it is done (whether passed or failed), you have to go through the actual driving test. You may opt for “MANUAL” or “AUTOMATIC).
I repeat the same that you may go for automatic car if you are not comfortable with manual cars. Also some of the manual cars are not in good shape and god forbid if clutch does not work properly on that day, you may not be able to pass the driving test, so I suggests going for automatic car which are available in the ground. This include Toyota Yaris, Toyota Corrolla and Honda. Although they are limited but you can wait for your turn. Instructor on ground easily allow this. Be patient and keep hold of your nerves while communicating with these guys as they are single headed. You may also bring your own vehicle. Try it be smaller in length to improve your chances of passing especially the reverse parking test.
Test is done in small batches around 5 to 10 cars. Place you car in the queue. First is the general forward movement with use of proper indicators. In between is a small passage. Be careful while passing that as if you touch the side poles, Instructor won’t pass you. Actually it is too easy to get through that path. Almost all the drivers can do so with convenience.
Reverse Parking Test
After this, you will place your car in the same queue for attempting reverse parking test.
This is done in batches too. Normally it is a batch of five cars as there are five parking slots in the test field. All five cars will move one after other to the parking lot and stopped somewhat 15 to 20 meters ahead of the parking slot. Instructor then tell the parking number in which every driver has to reverse park his car. It is assigned in the same sequence in which cars are lined up i.e. 1 to 5 with last one to park in 5th parking space, second last in 4th parking space and so on. Since I was the first one therefore I was assigned parking no 1.
When all the vehicles behind me started moving; I started reversing my car with right indicator on. Now the basic rule which i learned from my Egyptian friend in the office ( there could be other way also)
- The distance between the pole and car should be around one and half foot approximately.
- Second stop your car when the small window on the right hand side of the back door is parallel to the pole.
Now while keeping the car stopped, fully move the steering on the right side. Once done, start reversing the car. Keep you look on the left mirror to see the white line and once your car back wheel on the left side is round 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 inches) away from that line, stop the car. Now fully move the steering on the left side. After this reverse the car and it will be safely placed between the two lines. Don’t try to move more further once the steering is back to its original place as this may push you car behind the allowable area.
After this instructor will ask to take the car out of parking area to see if you can safely bring it back to its original location. After taking out the car, stop it on the track as instructor will take your file to put his remarks. A tick means you are passed; otherwise you have to attempt the same on subsequent week. Instructor put a tick on my file and asked me to take the car back to parking location and wait in the file delivery room.
I waited for around half an hours after which all the files arrived. I got the file from there and confirmed about the procedure for payment of license fee. You may go directly to Riyadh bank if you want to, otherwise you may find taxi drivers working as an agent who will take you to the one of the collection agent office. These offices charges around 40 SAR for processing payment on your behalf. License fee is dependent upon the time period for which you want to issue your license permit. I preferred paying for 10 years which costs 400 SAR. Additionally I pay 10 SAR to taxi driver who bring me to the collection agent office.
Please note that it is your choice to go to bank directly or go the payment processing agent.
I came back to the driving school with same taxi driver and went to the license issuance / registration dept. There was a small queue there. On my turn, I presented the file to officer there, who checked the records online and punched some data in the system. He asked me to get aside so that during the time my license in printed, data of the person after me can be entered in the system.
After minutes or so he called my name and handed over my license to me. It was a matter of great joy and relief for me as all my worries to free movement were gone within a matter of few hours.
Thanks a Lot…