By the charts, millions of Filipinos are currently working overseas (OFWs). Having that said, we know that some professions they vary widely. From domestic aids/helpers, to corporate careers, some professions require different IDs in order for you to be on that job. Expatriates, including OFWs however, cannot use their international driving licenses so they need to apply for a driver’s license in Saudi Arabia.

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Can Filipinos apply for this as well?

Yes, of course. All expatriates or foreigners working and residing in Saudi Arabia can get a national driver’s license for them to validly and properly use or drive cars in the country. Even OFWs if they need to drive a car, would be eligible in getting a driver’s license.

So what requirements are needed in getting a driver’s license in Saudi Arabia?

Just like here in our country, you need to secure documents that prove your identity and legitimacy. You need to prepare:

  • Iqama copy (Resident permit)
  • Country of origin driver’s license (in Arabic); it’s easier if you have this
  • Passport photocopies (ensure that you photocopy the front and the back including VISA)
  • Four (4) Passport-sized photos (with white background, collared shirt)
  • Blood group report
  • Eye group report

Fees:

You need to deposit SAR435 through internet (if you want to settle it through a broker) in your Iqama for a 10-year valid private license.  Otherwise, you can pay online using SADAD payment (2 years – SAR80/ 5 years – SAR200/ 10 years – SAR400)

Procedure:

1. Of course, you have to compile all required documentation prior to diving into the first step. Once completed, proceed to the Dallah driving school Ksa at least before 7:00 A.M. in the morning.

2. There might be people who will be asking a payment of SAR430 near the entrance of the gate. Since you already paid the fee, do not entertain them.

3. There are agents who will offer file-creation for SAR15-20; you can take it especially if you know little-to-no Arabic at all as they will create the file for you.

4. The “eye sight” test is the next step. Once finished, the officer will stamp your application form and will instruct you to go to the “License Check Counter,” afterwards, they will ask you to take the “First trial.”

5. The first trial is the test drive. A person in a car will ask you to drive for a few moments (straight, left turn, right turn, reverse, and stop).

6. If the test is successful, the officer will grade you a “1 Alif” which means that you’re ready for the final test. On the other hand, you might have to wait for 2-3 days to retake the same test.

7. If you are being required to retake after 2-3 days, you will have to deposit SAR100 and ask you to attend a 3-hour training class where they teach the basics of driving. Afterwards, you will be allowed to take the driving school computer assessment.

8. The “Final trial” will be another driving test and once you pass, you need to submit your documents through scanning it and then you will be able to get your license within a few minutes.
Otherwise if you fail the final trial, you will be receiving three (3) dates/trials for the test of one slip.

To access the direct website for the procedure, you can visit saudi-expatriates.com

TIPS:

  • The most important things are to: remember to fasten your seatbelt, check the seat distance, rear-view and side-view mirrors before you go and take the first driving test (first trial).
  • Drive slowly and carefully; let the officer know that you are a patient and a cautious driver and is in no way trying to disturb the peace on the roads.
  • It would be better if you know the Arabic translations of the words (Right, Left, Straight, Reverse, Stop, Go, and Slowly). Do a little bit of research for these as well.
  • You will be driving in a roundabout; drive slowly and cautiously. As much as possible, do not commit errors like sudden brakes, unexpected squeezing of accelerator, etc.

In reality, getting a driver’s license in Saudi Arabia is almost the same as how you get it here in the Philippines. The only difference is that you get the real driver’s license right away, not just paper. Kidding aside, applying for a driver’s license if you’re an expatriate or an OFW is technically straightforward; no more student’s permit for a month, no more waiting for the card to be released and such. Just follow the guidelines, prepare the documents, pay the fees, and enjoy your license.

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