Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in Saudi Arabia can be hazardous due to speeding and aggressive driving, lax enforcement of traffic regulations, and a high volume of traffic.
Beginning on June 24, 2018, women have been able to obtain a driver?s license and can legally drive in Saudi Arabia. With a valid visitor visa and U.S. or international driver?s license, visitors may drive a rental car. However, outside the major cities of Riyadh, Dhahran and Jeddah, visitors?especially women?may experience difficulty renting a car. Female residents with independent sponsorships and U.S. or international driver?s licenses also may obtain a Saudi driver?s license, necessary to drive vehicles other than rental cars. Foreign women residing in Saudi Arabia who are listed as dependents on their Saudi residency permit (?iqama?) may experience difficulties in obtaining Saudi driver?s licenses. To drive vehicles other than rental cars, a Saudi driver?s license, appropriate car registration, and auto insurance are required. Police may detain you if you cannot produce these documents.
See the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior website for further information.
- Temporary visitors may drive using their valid U.S. or international driver's license for up to 90 days.
- Foreigners resident in Saudi Arabia who wish to drive must obtain a local driver's license from the Department of Traffic Police.
- In the event of a traffic accident, U.S. citizens should dial ?993? to report the accident. You must remain on the scene until the traffic police arrive. Failure to do so can result in a criminal offense.
- Additionally, U.S. citizens should contact Najm, a private company contracted by the traffic police to complete the accident report (+966 9200 00560).
- In the event of a traffic accident resulting in personal injury, everyone involved (if not seriously injured) is likely be taken to the local police station.
- All drivers, regardless of fault, can be held in custody for several days until responsibility is determined and any reparations paid.
- Use of front seat belts (driver and passenger) is required by law.
- U.S. citizens involved in a serious accident resulting in injury or death should immediately contact their sponsors and the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate.
- Residents should update their personal details through one of the methods available here to receive SMS notifications once a traffic ticket is issued.
- Delay in payment of any ticket might result in doubling of the ticket amount.
- Travelers will need to pay any fines issued through this system before leaving the country.
- U.S. Government employees are prohibited from using taxis in Saudi Arabia with the exception of Uber Black in Riyadh, Kareem First in Jeddah, and Majestic taxi service in Dhahran. If you must use a taxi, only use established companies, such as those offering cabs with meters. Taxis and lift services are available throughout major cities, and you should arrange a pickup by telephone or via smartphone app when possible.
- Avoid sitting in the front seat of a taxi, do not travel to unfamiliar areas, and do not enter taxis with unknown passengers.
Please refer to the Department?s Road Safety page for more information. Also, it is recommended that you visit the website of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Saudi Arabia's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards for oversight of Saudi Arabia's air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA safety assessment page.
Information for Mariners:
Mariners should also review U.S. maritime alerts and advisories on the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Web Portal.