Those who don’t already hold a licence will have to complete up to 120 hours of lessons.

There’s roughly another seven months to wait until women can legally drive in Saudi Arabia.

However hopeful female motorists can’t just score a licence overnight when the royal decree comes into force, authorities have revealed.

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Women hoping to gain their first driving licence will have to attend compulsory training courses, an official from the kingdom has confirmed.


Directorate General of Traffic (Muroor) Mohammed Al-Bassami announced this week that there would no longer be immediate tests for drivers, whereby a motorist could simply book and sit a test without taking lessons.

“Those who wish to obtain a new driving licence and are not good at driving should attend a 90-hour training course, while those who are good at driving should attend a 30-hour training course,” Al-Bassami told the Saudi Press Agency.

There will also be an option for a 120-hour training course, according to Arab News, though it has not yet been confirmed if women who hold licences from international countries will be able to just sit a test without completing a course.

The news follows the announcement that the General Department of Traffic and King Abdul Aziz University will co-launch a women-only training school in Jeddah when the royal decree comes into force in June 2018.

The school will provide lessons in accordance with “international standards”, Arab News reports—and it’s not the only university planning to teach women to drive.

Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, the world’s largest university for women in the kingdom, also revealed plans to establish a driving school especially for females last month.

“Princess Nourah University is preparing to set up a driving school in cooperation with the relevant authorities,” the university said on Twitter.

More than 50,000 female students are expected to benefit from the driving school.

Meanwhile, King Saud University in Riyadh has said it will be dedicating 4,500 parking spots for female students and faculty members in the wake of the announcement.

King Salman issued the historic decree back in September, although women have since been warned to keep off the roads until the new law comes into force.

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Those caught behind the wheel before June 2018 will now be fined, rather than detained.

The reform comes as part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030, a post-oil economy plan under which the government aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020.

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