Determined to make Qatar’s roads safer, the Traffic Department has introduced a number of changes to driving license system and are planning a few more. Here are 7 changes that you need to know :
1. Unified driving curriculum
The Traffic Department has finalised a unified driving curriculum and it will be introduced in all driving schools.
- Prepared by experts in the road traffic field, the revised curriculum will address the shortcomings in the existing one.
- All driving schools have been asked to provide interpreters to explain the points mentioned in the new curriculum and the traffic law to learners who come from different countries.
2. Road test after passing theory test only
No trainee will be allowed to take a road test unless he passes the theory test based on information provided in the new curriculum.
3. You need to know the basics of automobiles
In addition to driving skills and traffic laws, the syllabus addresses issues such as how to check the safety of a vehicle, lights, engine, engine oil and the pressure of tyres.
4. No more short courses
With the short course abolished some five months ago, new learners have to take either the half or full course.
5. You need to do really well to pass the tests
Determined to make the country’s roads safer, the authorities had recently made it “difficult” to secure a driving licence. An instructor at a school said expats rarely pass the first time they take the theory portion of the test.
According to sources, out of an average 35 persons who take the test on any given day, only three to four will get the licence, which means almost 90% of learners fail the test!
6. Getting test dates are not easy either
The test includes a theory part, parallel and pocket parking and the road test. Each of the tests is taken on different dates.
In several cases, learners who failed the driving test have to wait for more than two months before getting a schedule for their second try.
7. No more exceptions for Saudi, Kuwait license holders
The provision of granting a driving licence to those holding licences issued by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has also been discontinued in Qatar. They are now required to enroll in driving schools and take the tests.
The new regulation has also affected expatriates who shifted to Qatar recently from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and were hoping to get a licence based on the ones they had in these two countries.