Bahrain Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Bahrain Driving Licence: Obtaining a driving licence in Bahrain allows you to legally operate motor vehicles on public roads. Here is an overview of driving licences in Bahrain:

Types of Licences

There are different classes of driving licences issued in Bahrain:

  • Class 1 – Motorcycles
  • Class 2 – Private vehicles up to 3,500 kg
  • Class 3 – Private vehicles over 3,500 kg
  • Class 4 – Taxi and public transportation
  • Class 5 – Heavy vehicles like trucks and buses

Eligibility and Minimum Age

To qualify for a Bahraini driving licence you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (Class 1 and 2)
  • Be at least 21 years old (other classes)
  • Pass the theory and practical driving tests
  • Complete eye exam and traffic course
  • Obtain medical fitness certificate

Licence Validity

Licence validity periods:

  • Class 1, 2 – 10 years
  • Class 3, 4, 5 – 5 years

Licences must be renewed before they expire.

New Residents and Tourists

New residents can drive using foreign licences for 3 months. Visitors can drive for up to 6 months with a valid licence from home country. International Driving Permit recommended.

Getting Your First Bahrain Driving Licence

Here are the steps to obtaining your initial Bahraini driving licence:

1. Enroll in a Driving School

  • Complete mandatory theory and practical driving classes.
  • Instruction covers traffic rules, hazard perception, skills.
  • Minimum 20 hours training required.

2. Pass the Theory Test

  • Take computer-based theory test on road rules and signs.
  • Answer 12 out of 15 questions correctly to pass.

3. Pass the Practical Driving Test

  • Take the practical test assessing driving skills.
  • An examiner will evaluate you on control, safety, judgement.
  • Minimum pass score is 80 out of 100 points.

4. Obtain Your Licence Card

  • Visit licence office with passed test certificates.
  • Submit application, ID, medical certificate, photos.
  • Upon approval, your plastic photo licence will be issued.

Renewing a Bahraini Driving Licence

To continue driving legally, renew your licence before expiry:

  • Licences can be renewed up to 3 months before expiration.
  • Present current licence and undergo eye exam.
  • Have new photo taken and pay renewal fees.
  • Your updated licence card will be provided.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Licence

If your Bahraini driving licence is lost or stolen:

  • File a report with the police documenting loss/theft.
  • Apply for replacement at licence office within 7 days.
  • Provide police report and details of old licence.
  • Pay replacement fee.
  • You will be issued a duplicate licence.

Changing Your Address on Your Licence

When you change your permanent residence:

  • Notify licence office within 30 days of address change.
  • Provide proof of new address.
  • Pay fee to update and replace licence card.
  • New card will show updated address.

Getting an International Driving Permit

To drive in other countries, you may need an IDP:

  • Apply for IDP at the National Transport Authority.
  • Bring current licence, passport photos and photocopies.
  • Complete application and pay fee.
  • Carry both licence and IDP when driving overseas.

Traffic Rules and Regulations in Bahrain

When driving in Bahrain, follow these main traffic laws:

General Driving

  • Drive on the right side of the road
  • Mandatory seat belt wearing
  • Require child restraints as appropriate
  • Obey posted speed limits

Speed Limits

  • 40 km/h in urban areas
  • 80 km/h on highways
  • 100 km/h on expressways


  • Speeding fines from 20 BD and up
  • Running red light – 200 BD fine


  • Licence and registration must be carried

Alcohol Limit

  • 0.05% maximum blood alcohol content
  • Zero tolerance for young and new drivers

Resolving Traffic Violations and Fines in Bahrain

If you commit a traffic offence, here is how to deal with resulting fines:

Pay the Fine

  • Fines can be paid online, at SADAD machines, or police stations.
  • Pay within 15 days to avoid late fees.
  • Keep receipt as proof of payment.

Dispute the Violation

  • To contest, file appeal at Traffic Prosecution within 15 days.
  • Submit evidence supporting your dispute.
  • Fine may be waived if dispute upheld.

Licence Suspension

  • Licence may be suspended for serious offences.
  • 12+ black points also results in suspension.
  • Attend driving courses to regain licence after suspension.

Failure to Pay

  • Unpaid fines referred to court after 45 days.
  • Additional fees added.
  • Can lead to driving licence being cancelled.

FAQ on Bahraini Driving Licences

1. How much does it cost to get a Bahraini driving licence?

Getting a new Bahraini driving licence costs around 50-100 BHD. This covers mandatory lessons, theory/practical tests, fees and issuance of the licence card. Renewal every 5-10 years is 20 BHD.

2. What is the minimum driving age in Bahrain?

The minimum age to obtain a motorcycle or car licence in Bahrain is 18 years. You must be at least 21 years old to obtain licences for larger vehicles like trucks and buses.

3. Can I drive in Bahrain with a UAE driving licence?

Yes, as a resident of the GCC you can legally drive in Bahrain using your valid UAE driving licence for up to 3 months. After this, you must obtain a Bahraini licence to continue driving.

4. How do I replace my lost Bahraini driving licence?

Report the loss immediately to police and apply for replacement at the licence office. Provide the police report and details of your old licence. Pay the fee to get a duplicate licence issued.

5. Can I renew my Bahraini licence from overseas?

No, Bahraini driving licences cannot be renewed from overseas. You must be present in person at the licence office to undergo an eye exam and obtain the renewed physical licence card.