This post is 1 month in the making and I never thought that this post will ever see the light of day. If you're a expat here in Saudi Arabia and plan to get your own locally issue driver's license then may want to continue reading. :)
The only mode of transportation here in KSA are taxi, there' no buses, no "jeepneys", not even a pedicab. So majority of people here have their own car, if not rent it. So in order for you to have your own car or be able to rent, obviously you must have a driver's license issued here in KSA.
Getting your own license here is easy as long as you have all the necessary documents. Like Iqama, Passport, the driver's license from where you came from, letter from your company allowing you to apply for the driver's license, there may be other documents that you need but those are the docs that I brought when I applied for my license.
Once you have all the necessary documents, you can head over to any of the licensing center here in Riyadh. There are many driving school here in Riyadh and one of the popular is the Dallah Driving School but I got my license from Shamal Al-Riyadh School for Driving Sahafa Area, which was located at End of King Fahad Road North. You can actually asked any taxi to take you to any of these driving school. Just make sure you remember which driving school you went to.
Once in the driving school, you will need to accomplish the following:
1. Have your driver's license translated and blood typing located in the make shift office located right in front of the center. This is the orange container truck near the right parking lot. Fees for translation is Sr 50 and another SR 50 for the blood typing.
2. Acquire and fill-up the form from the looby, the form is written in Arabic and unless you know which field you need to fill-up the personnel in the information desk will fill it up for you.
3. First driving test, if you've driving before even you went here, then this should be a piece for cake to you.
4. After the first driving test, you will then be asked to go to Window 1 and they will just verify something in the form using your iqama. You will then be asked to go to Windows 3 or 4.
5. My papers where processed on Window 4 and they will then asked you for your driver's license and iqama for verification, afterwards if your license is not expired and if you passed the first driving test, they will asked you to come back after 2 weeks for classroom lecture, you will need to pay SR100.00 and will be given a piece of paper with your picture in it.
If you failed the first driving test or if your license is expired, you will need to take a 4 days driving training and you will need to pay SR450.00.
6. The lecture is basically about the computer based exam that you will be taking. The exam will be about the different traffic rules and signs, they will even give you some tips on what are the questions in the exam. If you happen to understand Arabic then you should not have any problem during the lecture, if not it will be you have a problem. What I did is just focus on the slides and take note of the important things in the projector. Good thing that the slides is in English. :)
The facilitator will then sign the piece of paper that was given to you on step 5.
You may also want to pick one guide sheet that they're giving away for free, these guide sheet has almost all the traffic signs and symbols used here in KSA and the meaning for each signs/symbols.
Here's how the guide sheet looks like.
After the lecture, you will have asked to return the following day for your computer and second driving test.
7. Computer exam and Driving test, you will basically bring almost all the documents that you are brought from the first day of your application. But most importantly do not, I mean DO NOT forget to bring your iqama. :)
Before taking the exam, you will need to submit the piece of paper that was given to you after the lecture, all those who applied for the license, will need to wait in room 4 and the names of those who can take the computer exam will be broadcast in the PA system in the room.
8. During the exam, you need to show your iqama to one of the facilitator and they will use either the iqama number or your name on for the exam. Another thing that you need to remember is that you will need to correctly answer the first 10 question or if not that means you fail the exam and you will need to wait for another week to take the retest. There will be 20 question and you only need to answer 15 question correctly.
9. Once you passed the computer exam, you will then head-out to the actual driving test for the second driving test. So if the first driving exam was a piece of cake then you should not have any problem with the second driving test.
10. After the second driving test you will need to head to the office of the director of the school where he will evaluated your application as well as your second drive test. The director will also verify some information from your iqama.
11. If everything goes well, you should heading to window 3 or 4 of the traffic division, from there you should get a number in order for you to be able to transact, there they will again double check the information you have in the application form and your iqama and the letter from your company.
12. They personnel will then ask you to pay SR425.00 for the processing fee and you will need to pay in the makeshift office where you have your blood typing and had your license translated. After paying, just head back to the window 3 or 4 of the traffic division then just wait for them to call your name and they will be giving your KSA issued Driver's License.
Don't be surprise if they did not give you any receipt after paying the SR425.00 processing fee. Better request for the receipt before you pay, specially if you will request for a reimbursement later. :)
What I like about the license here is that the license is good for 10 years, which I think long enough for me even I plan to stay here for 5 years or more! :)