It is a legal requirement to hold a valid licence to drive in Qatar. The Traffic Department is the authorised authority for issuing driving licenses. Below are the various options depending on your length of stay.
On arrival – 1 week rule
Visitors can drive for one week (7 days from arrival) on approved licences from some countries. Visit the Traffic Department at Madinat Khalifa (see map below) to check the validity of your home country licence.
Temporary Driving Licence – valid for 3 months
If you wish to drive for longer than a week you can apply for a Temporary Licence which is valid for 3 months. It is possible to extend the licence when it expires.
How to apply for a temporary licence
Fill in the application form and submit it along with the following documents to the Traffic Department (see map):
- Original licence from an approved country
- Passport – original and copies
- Three colour photos – passport size, white background. If you need to wear glasses while driving you must be wearing glasses in the photos.
International Driving Licence – valid for 6 months
A valid international driving licence can be used for up to six months from the date you enter the country.
In general, temporary and international licence holders are restricted to driving rental vehicles as insurance companies require drivers of privately-owned vehicles to hold a full licence.
Full Driving Licence
If you are a resident (hold a Qatar Residence Permit) you may apply for a Qatar Driving Licence. The licence fee for Qataris is QR500 (valid for 10 years) and QR250 for non-Qataris (valid for 5 years). Additional fees apply for driving and vision tests.
Renewing your Driving Licence is simple and easy and can be processed through Hukoomi. You will be asked to disclose any changes to your health that may affect your ability to drive since your last licence application. If, for instance, you have been prescribed glasses, you should apply through the Traffic Department and retake the eye test.
Driving without a licence – a word of warning
Driving without a valid licence is a criminal offence with harsh penalties for non-compliance. If you are involved in an accident, your insurance will be void and you may face imprisonment and deportation. Make sure you plan in advance and are holding an appropriate, valid licence at all times.
Finding the Traffic Department
The Traffic Department of the Ministry of Interior handles all matters concerning licensing and traffic violations. The Traffic Department is located on Khalifa Street, Madinat Khalifa and is open from 7am to 11am and 4pm to 7pm.