Bhutan Driving Licence or Driver Permit

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

Bhutan Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Types of Licences

There are different categories of driving licences issued in Bhutan:

  • Category A – Motorcycles and scooters
  • Category B – Motor cars and light vehicles
  • Category C – Medium goods and passenger vehicles
  • Category D – Heavy goods and passenger vehicles
  • Category E – Specialized heavy vehicles

Eligibility and Minimum Age

To qualify for a Bhutan driving licence you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (Category A and B)
  • Be at least 20 years old (Category C)
  • Be at least 24 years old (Category D and E)
  • Pass required theory and practical driving tests
  • Be medically fit to drive

Licence Validity

Licence validity periods in Bhutan:

  • Category A and B – 5 years
  • Category C and D – 3 years
  • Category E – 1 year

Licences must be renewed before expiration.

New Residents and Tourists

Tourists can drive using foreign licences for up to 1 month in Bhutan. New residents can drive for 3 months with a valid foreign licence before taking Bhutanese driving tests. An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Getting Your First Bhutan Driving Licence

Here are the steps to obtaining your initial driving licence in Bhutan:

1. Enroll in a Driving School

  • Complete mandatory theory and practical driving lessons.
  • Training covers traffic rules, regulations, vehicle handling skills.
  • Get a learner’s permit after completing instruction.

2. Pass the Written Test

  • Take the multiple choice written test on road signs, rules, laws.
  • Answer 28 out of 30 questions correctly to pass.

3. Pass the Driving Test

  • Take the practical test assessing driving skills and safety.
  • An examiner will evaluate your control, judgement, maneuvering ability.
  • Achieve a minimum of 28 points out of 30 to pass.

4. Obtain Your Licence

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

Renewing a Bhutan Driving Licence

To continue driving legally, you must renew your licence before expiration:

  • Licences can be renewed up to 6 months before expiry.
  • Present current licence and get new photo taken.
  • Undergo vision screening and pay renewal fees.
  • Your updated licence card will be provided.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Licence

If your Bhutan driving licence is lost or stolen:

  • File a police report regarding the loss/theft.
  • Apply for replacement at transport office within 15 days.
  • Provide police report and old licence details.
  • Pay replacement fee.
  • You will be issued a duplicate licence.

Changing Your Address on Your Licence

When you change your permanent residence:

  • Notify transport office within 30 days of address change.
  • Provide proof of new address.
  • Pay change of address fee.
  • Your driving licence will be updated with new address.

Getting an International Driving Permit

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

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

Traffic Rules and Regulations in Bhutan

When driving in Bhutan, follow these main traffic laws:

General Driving

  • Drive on the left side of the road
  • Mandatory seat belt wearing
  • Require proper use of child restraints
  • Obey speed limits and traffic signals

Speed Limits

  • 30 km/h in towns
  • 50 km/h in urban areas
  • 80 km/h on highways and roads


  • Driving licence must be carried at all times

Alcohol Limit

  • 0.08% maximum blood alcohol content
  • 0.00% BAC for commercial drivers


  • Speeding fines from Nu. 500
  • Driving unlicensed – fines up to Nu.1500

Resolving Traffic Violations and Fines in Bhutan

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

Pay the Fine

  • Fines can be paid at banks, police stations, or Road Safety and Transport Authority.
  • Pay within 15 days to avoid additional late penalties.
  • Keep receipt as proof of payment.

Dispute the Fine

  • To contest, submit written plea within 15 days.
  • Provide evidence supporting your dispute.
  • Fine may be waived if dispute upheld.

Licence Suspension

  • Licence may be suspended for serious offences.
  • Accumulating 12+ penalty points also results in suspension.
  • Attend traffic school and pay fee to regain licence.

Failure to Pay

  • Unpaid fines referred for enforcement after 30 days.
  • Additional late fees added.
  • Can result in licence cancellation and court prosecution.

FAQ on Bhutan Driving Licences

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

Getting a new Bhutan driving licence costs around Nu. 600-800. This includes mandatory lessons, theory and practical tests, and licence issuance fees. Renewal every 3-5 years is around Nu. 300-500.

2. What is the minimum driving age in Bhutan?

The minimum age is 18 years to obtain a motorcycle or car licence in Bhutan. For commercial and heavy vehicle licences you must be at least 20-24 years old.

3. Can I drive in Bhutan with my Indian licence?

Yes, as an Indian national you can legally drive in Bhutan using your valid Indian driving licence for up to 1 month. Expat residents need to obtain a Bhutanese licence after 3 months.

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

Report the loss immediately to police and apply for replacement at the transport authority within 15 days. Provide the police report and details of your old licence. Pay the fee to obtain a duplicate licence.

5. Can I renew my Bhutanese licence from overseas?

No, Bhutanese driving licences cannot be renewed from overseas. You must be present in-person at the transport authority for vision screening and to collect the renewed physical licence card.