New to Bahrain

Expats, Here's How to Get Your Driver's Licence in Bahrain

by BTM

Thu, 22 September 2022

Expats, Here's How to Get Your Driver's Licence in Bahrain
New to Bahrain? We have put together this guide to getting your driver's license in Bahrain to demystify the process for you. 

Moving to a new country is a daunting experience. Not just because you will find yourself in a new environment but because you will also need to complete a lot of admin to get your ducks in a row. Making sure you have the correct driver's license for your new home is one of those things. 

We have put together this guide to getting your driver's license in Bahrain to demystify the process for you. 

There are also a few things to keep in mind. For example, the layout of cars. 

The cars in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are left-hand drive vehicles as opposed to right-hand drive in some countries.

One must also remember that traffic rules are completely different and very strict in some countries and you, therefore, need to have a driver's license in order to drive, not just in Bahrain but all around the world.

What you will need to apply for a driver's license in Bahrain:

  • An application form from the Traffic Directorate
  • Copies of your passport
  • A Central Population Registry (CPR) card (Bahrani identity document)
  • Your original/national driver's license
  • 2 passport photos
  • A driving test, this depends on which country you are from because you can’t just convert your old license to Bahrain's license for every country)

What else? 

According to a user-generated thread on Quora, if you are applying for a driving license from scratch, you will need to; collect the learner's driving licence card and booklet after completing the process above. 

You can then watch the Bahrani driving theory class online via Youtube, find a trainer and complete 22 hours of classes, apply for the driving test, complete it at the selected date and collect the licence after finishing the exam. 

Converting a GCC license user beirut96101 shared their experience of exchanging their GCC licence to a Bahrani driver's license and made the following notes for people who may find themselves having to go through this process. 

Your documents should be valid at the time of your submission.

They also advised using the Skiplino mobile application to get an appointment at the Traffic Directorate as walk-ins are not accepted. You can find the option under “MOI service” > “Traffic Services,” “Driver Licenses Divison” > “Driving School Branch.”

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“Don't make my mistake and pick any service just to get an appointment, you need to pick ‘replace and evaluate driving licenses,’” advised beirut96101. 

Once you have an appointment, they advise heading to the Traffic Directorate in A'Ali and not the one in Isatown.

“When you enter, don't wait for your number, just go to a desk and ask for the form to exchange a foreign license. Make sure to fill it ahead of time.”

“The form will have your details, along with the GCC driver's license issue and expiry date. If you're like me and have a Saudi one, the date is in Hijri for the issue, you need to convert it to the Gregorian calendar. A quick google search will help you with that.”

If you are about to get your driver's license benefit from the driving school via to view the theoretical lecture online in 3 different languages without the need to visit the driving school.#Bahrain #eGovernment #traffic #TeamBahrain #eServices

— iGA Bahrain (@iGABahrain) September 29, 2020

In addition to the above-listed items that you will need to apply for a driver's license in Bahrain when you convert your GCC license, you will also need to bring your residence permit along (have a copy of it on hand as well).

“Nobody asked me for anything. Take them with you just in case,” they cautioned. 

Once everything is ready and filled in, you will need to wait for your number to be called.

You will then head to the counter, pay 5BD for the eye test and the Traffic Directorate employee will scan your driver's license along with the form to load onto their system.

ALSO READ: Fitness Bahrain: Here's what newbie expats need to know

Upon completion of the process, you will receive a pink receipt and head towards the eye test section.

There, you will receive a different token number which you will need to keep with you as they'll call you again after the eye test is complete.

“Once eye test is passed and the optometrist stamps your form, you'll wait again for your number to be called - the new one you got for the eye test - and head to the counter. There, you will pay 20BD to get the new license issued. This will be done on the spot.” 

The entire process took an estimated 50 minutes from start to finish.

For more information on the process make sure to check the article on the goverment portal here.

You can also use Skiplino to set up your appointment.

A guide to getting your driver's license in Bahrain.