How to get a driving license in Oman?

Sign up for driving lessons to get a driving license in Oman

If you are an expatriate come to Oman on a job, getting a driving license as soon as possible will definitely make life easy for you. If you want to know ‘how to get a driving license in Oman’, this guide will help you acquire one so that you do not have to depend on the limited pubic transport that comprises just taxicabs and a city bus service.

You may start form scratch, if you haven’t driven before. If you have been driving in other countries, you can attach the driving license from your home country. This will enable you to skip two initial tests while applying for a learner’s license. Driving lessons can be taken up through registered driving training firms or with the help of private trainers.

If you do decide to sign up for a learners’ license, be prepared for a long wait, though some have been lucky to get it sooner than others. You may sign up for training in automatic or manual cars. (Till a couple of years ago, training for automatic vehicles was available only for women. This was extended to men, too, after a survey of the situation.)

The ‘green book’

The first step for getting a driving license in Oman is to get yourself registered with the Royal Oman Police (ROP). On provision of the required documents and fees, the ROP will issue you a ‘green book’ to maintain your driving training test records. This book includes a list of traffic signs which you need to get acquainted with and remember when appearing for a ‘sign test’.

Once you get your learners ‘green book’, make sure to undertake adequate driving lessons to learn and demonstrate your skill behind the wheel. Driving instructors in Oman manage to speak sufficient English (some also speak Hindi) to be able to communicate and instruct students. No theory lessons are included, it all begins and ends on the roads. So be careful to understand and imbibe everything that is taught during your rounds in the city. Don’t be in a hurry to go for a test – your instructor usually senses when you are ready to take a test.

(Expert tip from a user: Get well acquainted with the roads in your area where you plan to learn driving, it will greatly help in understanding the road before you and to avoid making silly mistakes)

The tests

First stage:

The first stage consists of three tests taken during a single visit to the ROP test centre. Your driving instructor will book a date and take you there in the training car. The tests include a Sign Test, Drum Test and Slope Test. A single fee is charged for all three tests. If you’ve read the sign brochure well and demonstrated your ability to do the drum and slope tests to your instructor, it will be easy to clear all the three tests at one go.

For the sign test – the officer will randomly ask you to identify 4 or 5 signs from the sign-sheet. The key signs to remember are ‘No entry’, ‘Give way’, ‘No overtaking’, ‘No  U turn’ and ‘Keep right/left’.

For the drum and slope test – You don’t need to do these tests if you have a driving license from your home country and have attached copies of it, duely attested by the embassy of your country and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If you take this test, remember, there’s no need to be in a hurry, you will be alone in the car. Take your time and do what you have learnt slowly and perfectly. There are no retakes on the spot; if you scrape past any drum, you will have to take the test again on another date. For the slope test, you will have to drive up to an inclined mini-bridge with mock traffic lights installed before it. Wait on the slope when you see red, get going when it turns green, as simple as that.

Second stage:

The road test – This is the crucial test which will decide if you are fit enough to be issued a driving license. Some clear it after a couple of attempts, while others end up taking it numerous times – very often due to silly mistakes committed carelessly. The driving instructor will sit in the passenger set next to you and will wait for you to reverse your car from a parking lot (at the test site) and move towards the main road.

Before you start, make sure to wear your belt, ask the instructor to wear his (if he hasn’t), check all your mirrors and slowly reverse your car after looking  into your rear-view mirrors. Drive confidently and listen carefully to all instructions for going straight, left/right at a roundabout or for turning into a parking lot. Make sure to give indicator lights and look into your side mirrors (with an obvious tilt of your head), before changing lanes. And never park in a parking slot that is reserved for disabled or is a ‘private parking’, even if the instructor tells you to. Drive as per the speed limit and always stay in the first lane, unless asked to change lanes.

Driving confidently, following instructions correctly, and demonstrating caution and respect for other drivers on the road is what will ultimately decide your fate. Don’t be dejected if you don’t make it on the first or second attempt. Repeated tests help in building your confidence and making you feel relaxed the next time. The ROP examiner will notify your driving instructor if you have cleared the road test and you will have to proceed to the ROP license

General requirements:
  1. For light vehicle driving license an applicant must have completed 18 years of age, and 21 years for heavy duty vehicle and truck driving licenses.
  2. An applicant must be fit and free from any handicap or disease that hampers his ability to drive. Persons with certain disabilities may be medically examined in order to decide whether they are able to drive or not.
  3. Pass the vision test.
  4. Two photographs with the application for the license.
  5. Copy of the identity card or passport.
Additional requirements for female applicants:
  1. The guardian or his substitute must come in person with a letter of no-objection addressed to the Director of Licensing.
  2. A married lady must produce her marriage certificate or the birth certificate of one of her children.
  3. Copy of the passport.
Additional requirements (For non-Omanis):
  1. The sponsor’s non-objection letter.
  2. Blood group statement
  3. Copy of the residence card and copy of the passport.
  4. An unemployed lady must produce copy of her husband’s residence card card and a letter from his sponsor confirming that she is in Oman on a family visa.


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