First Saudi women get driving licenses, feel excited


Saudi Gazette report

– In implementing the historic move to allow women to drive, the first group of women have received their driving licenses on Monday. “The first group of women today received their Saudi driving licenses. The General Department of Traffic started replacing international driving licenses, recognized in the Kingdom, with Saudi licenses,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Several excited women expressed their delight and joy over becoming holders of a driving license, SPA said.

Last week, the department had urged Saudi and expatriate women, who are holders of driving license issued in other countries and want to replace it with a Saudi one, to register their application through the Saudi Driving License Portal from May 21.

The department issued the licenses to the applicants after confirming the authenticity of their international licenses and evaluating their ability to drive after undergoing a practical test. The authorities issued licenses after ensuring that these licenses are recognized by Saudi Arabia, as stipulated by the Traffic Regulations and their executive bylaws.

The issuance of license comes as part of a series of measures taken by the department in preparation for the implementation of the decision to allow women to drive. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman ordered last September to allow women to drive effective from June 24. A higher committee, represented by the ministries of interior, finance, and labor and social development, had been constituted to carry out necessary studies to enforce the royal decree.

As the date is drawing near, centers training women how to drive in Jeddah and other cities have been struggling to cope with the big turnout of prospective female drivers who have been enthusiastically responding to the historic decision by the Kingdom.

While many Saudis are waiting to see this new scene on Saudi roads and which has been long awaited by women, many are preparing for this day in anticipation, while others are taking driving lessons in order to obtain licenses.

While Saudi women are making preparations to enter a hitherto male domain, training centers have started intensive programs to instruct them on traffic regulations and driving skills so that they qualify for a Saudi driving license.