Exchanging a Foreign Licence in Qatar

Find out who can exchange their foreign driving licence and the steps to follow...

Currently, anyone who holds either a GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE) licence, or a licence from any of the following countries, is permitted to obtain a full Qatar driving licence without having to pass a test: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA and Vatican City.

Drivers who do not hold a licence from one of these countries, or who have no licence at all, are required to take a driving test.

Where to apply for a licence

To apply for a licence, either temporary or permanent, go to the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department. The offices are open from 07:00 to 11:00 and 16:00 to 19:00.

  • Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department
    At: Khalifa Street
    Tel: 4489 0666

The process

To obtain a full driving licence, the following documents must be presented at the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department:

  • Original licence from one of the countries listed above
  • A letter of no objection/permission from the sponsor, written in Arabic
  • A copy of the trade licence of the sponsoring company
  • A copy of the sponsor’s ID
  • Passport (original and copies)
  • Three passport photos
  • Qatar ID card

The applicant must fill out an application form, which must be typed in Arabic and signed by the sponsor. Translation typing services are available on site for a small fee. The form can be downloaded in advance, but needs to be filled out at the Traffic Department.

It is also necessary to pass an eye test, which can be done on site.

A fee must also be paid by card. This includes the cost of the eye test.

The licence should be available for collection on the next working day, and is valid for five years. The vehicle entitlement will be the same as for the original licence, but a separate licence must be obtained for driving HGVs and buses.

Temporary licence

The procedure to apply for a temporary licence is the same as for a full licence. Documentation needed for this is as follows:

  • Original licence from one of the countries listed above.
  • Passport (original and copies)
  • Three passport photos

There is a fee for a temporary licence, and the licence is valid for three months. It is possible to extend the licence when it expires. In general, temporary licence holders are restricted to driving rental vehicles only, as insurance on privately-owned vehicles tends not to cover drivers of this status.

The Hukoomi website provides comprehensive information on the application procedure for obtaining a licence, select the Visa, Passport and Official Documents link in the Services section.