A driving license in the kingdom of Bahrain is more than just a good skill to have. Whether you are a working professional, a job seeker, or even a stay-at-home parent, we bring you all what you need to know about how to get a driving license in Bahrain. Additionally, you’ll find a list of important reminders, information about road rules and more!

Driving license eligibility

Driving license eligibility - driving license in Bahrain

First of all, let’s just make it clear who can apply for a driving license in Bahrain. Any person above 18 can apply for a driver’s license. You need to go to the Traffic Directorate (Isa Town place). Then you need to take the medical test and pass the eye exam. After passing these exams, you also need to take instructional classes. And lastly, you need to pass the practical driving test.

Steps to Apply for a Driving License

Steps to Apply for a Driving License

There are some requirements and papers you need to have so that you could apply. Those things are:

  •         Application form- You can acquire this at the Traffic Directorate
  •         Copies of your passports (For expats)
  •         CPR (Bahraini identity document)
  •         Your national driver’s license
  •         2 passport photos
  •         35BD (Bahraini Dinar) to 40BD (Bahraini Dinar)

For other information with regard to obtaining a driver’s license in Bahrain, you can contact the General Directorate of Traffic on ( 1787 2222 / 1787 2287 ).

Bahrain government has a website that allows users to renew their driving licenses, apply for vehicle registration renewal, pay the traffic contraventions, and inquire about the condition of the used vehicles. Moreover, the users will be able to update their contact details registered within the General Directorate of Traffic (GDT).

Important driving reminders

Important driving reminders - driving license in Bahrain

Bahrain’s Traffic Law is implemented first and foremost to protect the citizens and to maintain traffic safety on the road. So here are some reminders you should always keep in mind:

  •         All vehicles should be legally registered and insured.
  •         All drivers should have their driver’s licenses with them.
  •         Always wear your seat belts.
  •         Be aware of the speed limits.
  •         Do not ignore the traffic lights.
  •         Do not drink and drive.
  •         In case you get into an accident you can call the emergency hotline number (999) or (199) for traffic police.

About foreign visitors’ driving license

About foreign visitors' driving license

Most people in Bahrain prefer to drive their own car. As a result, traffic has increased over the past few years. To drive in Bahrain, foreign visitors need a valid driver’s license issued by the country of their residence and an International driving license. It is permitted to drive with an International driving license for up to three months. The main road traffic rules in Bahrain are:

  •         Traffic moves on the right hand of the road.
  •         Seat belts are mandatory for the driver and front-seat passengers.
  •         Drivers must give the right of way to vehicles inside the roundabout.
  •         Speed is measured in kilometers per hour.
  •         The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.0%.
  •         It is not permitted to use cell phones while driving, with the exception of a hands-free system.
  •         Eating, drinking, and smoking are prohibited whilst driving.
  •         The transportation of babies in front seats is not permitted.
  •         The speed limit is: 60 km/h (37mph) in towns, 80-100km/h (50-62mph) on open roads, 120km/h (75mph) on motorways.
  •         It is not permitted to turn right on a red traffic light.

Buying and renting cars

Buying and renting cars

For expatriates, it’s such an eternal issue of which it is better to buy a new car or rent one. In fact, what matters here is the duration of your stay and your income level too. So rather than push for a solution or another, here are some main advantages and disadvantages of each.

Benefits of renting a car:

  •         No registration formalities
  •         No need to worry about vehicle maintenance
  •         No hidden costs (repairs, breakdowns, etc …)
  •         No need to sell the vehicle at the departure


  •         Lost investment
  •         Choice of models is very limited
  •         Low flexibility from car rental agents
  •         Expensive solution
  •         The vehicle is not yours


Benefits of purchasing a car:

  •         Recovery of part of the investment when leaving the country
  •         Very large selection of new and used vehicles
  •         Attractive prices
  •         The vehicle is your property


  •         Risk lying in reselling
  •         Registration
  •         Insurance cost
  •         Maintenance of the vehicle at your expense

Additional information about driving in Bahrain

Additional information about driving in Bahrain

  •         The minimum age to rent a car varies from 18 to 24 years.
  •         Drivers should pay attention to the painted arrows on the lane; they indicate directions possible from the lane.
  •         At red traffic lights, drivers should always stop their cars behind the white line since most traffic lights on main roads and highways have road sensors behind the white line.
  •         Even at a green light, an intersection with yellow markings should not be crossed if exits or turns are blocked due to congestion.
  •         If the driver wants to turn left at the roundabout or go back the way he came, he must hold the left lane.
  •         As a rule, traffic signals display four phases: green = amber = red = red-amber = green.
  •         Directional and advice signs are written in Arabic and English languages.
  •         Bahrain has a good system of major highways. All highways have street lighting.
  •         Parking on the road is not permitted except in marked bays.
  •         In the case of non-injury accidents, drivers should get their vehicles off the road and call the police. They will be directed to one of the centers to file the accident report which must be filed within 24 hours of the accident. Drivers may be not permitted to leave Bahrain until the matter is resolved if an accident results in legal proceedings.
  •         Women are permitted to drive in Bahrain.
  •         There are plenty of petrol stations in Bahrain, which are open for different hours depending on location. Most will accept international credit cards.
  •         There are no tolls in Bahrain.
  •         Bahrain has plenty of parking lots and meters. You can pay for those in cash or with your credit card.

Also Read:

Jobs in Bahrain: how to find a job in Bahrain online

Properties for rent in Bahrain

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