Foreign visitors may drive in Saudi Arabia with their valid original driver licenses and International driving permits for three months. After that term, drivers need to obtain a Saudi driver license. Drivers from some countries, including from the United Kingdom and United States, may convertible their driver licenses to a Saudi license without a driving test.
Temporary visitors from the USA may drive under their domestic driver licenses. Residents of U.S. who are employed in Saudi Arabia should obtain a local driver license; they can obtain the Saudi Arabia driver license at the Department of Traffic Police.
The main road traffic rules:
- Driving is on the right side of the road.
- The minimum driving age is 18 years.
- Driving under influence of drugs, alcohol, or narcotics is an offence.
- Motorcyclists must wear helmets while riding.
- The speed limit in urban areas is 45 km/h (30 mph), outside the urban areas - 80 km/h (50 km/h), on motorways – 120 km/h (74 mph).
- It is mandatory to use safety seats for children when they are transported.
- Car insurance is compulsory.
- It is illegal to use hand-held mobile phones while driving.
- All vehicles must have a front and rear license plates.
- It is not permitted to stand on the railroads.
- At the intersections of equal access, traffic from the right has the priority.
- Vehicles which are already on the roundabout have a priority above cars outside.
- It is required to drive in tunnels with lights lighting.
- All drivers must stand at checkpoints and security patrols.
- It is not permitted to pass school bus when it stopped to load or download children.
- It is illegal to throw any objects on the road while driving.
- The police phone number is 999.
Saudi Arabia Traffic Signs
Driving Overseas - Short Information
- In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive or ride bicycles on public roads.
- Drivers involved in an accident in Saudi Arabia may be held in custody regardless of fault. In the case of an accident, foreign visitors should immediately contact their embassy or consulate.