Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Driving License-Process-Steps-Tips in Oman for Expats

This article is intended to the expatriates, aspirants of 4 wheeler driving license.
Requirement for Driving license (DL) 
• For light vehicle driving license an applicant must have completed 18 years of age, and 21 years for heavy duty vehicle and truck driving licenses.
• An applicant must be fit and free from any handicap or disease that hampers his ability to drive. Persons with certain disabilities may be medically examined in order to decide whether they are able to drive or not..
• The sponsor’s non-objection (This is exempted recently)
• The blood group
• Copy of the labor card and copy of the passport
• An unemployed lady must produce copy of her husband’s labour card and a letter from his sponsor confirming that she is in Oman in thecompany of her husband

• A foreign tourist can use his own country's driving licence or an international driving licence for 3 months.
There are total 5 tests to pass.
1. Eye Vision Test: This is test has to pass before getting the LL book.
2. Traffic Sign Test: Need to identify the road signs. (Road Signs)
3. Drum Test: Need to drive reverse in between two rows of drums without touching them.
4. Slope Test: Need to standstill on slope & move without moving (rolling)backward.
5. Road Test: Need to drive in traffic.
There are two types of people who wants to get Driving license(DL).
1. People, who have already DL from their respective country.
2. People who wants to learn and get a DL.
 People, who have already DL from their respective country.


No.3 (Drum test) and No.4 (Slope Test) are exempted. Only tests No.2 (Sign Test) and No.5 (Road Test) need to pass and Test No.1 is common to all.

For example: we consider a person has Indian DL.
The person has to have Valid Indian DL (DL has to be valid and it supposed to be one year old, otherwise ROP will reject to avail this facility) and photo copy of DL has to attest by Indian Embassy (as example) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs office.

Documents to carry to Indian Embassy, (Approximate office hours (local Oman Timings) : 8:00AM to 12:30PM
• Person has to carry photo copy of DL
• Photo copy passport
• Photo copy of Resident card
• Original Passport, DL, Resident card (only to show,not to submit)
Step 1: Applicant (no other person will be entertained) has to go Indian Embassy (Respective country's Embassy).
Step 2: Ask for "Attestation" at the first counter, respective Govt. Employee will give you waiting number and counter number slip. we have to wait until our number comes.
Step 3: At the counter, we have to give all photo copies. Govt. Employee will verify all the documents. (Note : If any mismatch in name of DL and Passport, he/she will reject. He/she may ask to show any of the original documents as mentioned above) He will pass to next counter to pay the fees.
Step 4: Fees approximately near to 5 Riyals (In Cash)
Step 5 : After collecting the fees, they will give you a receipt as acknowledgement and delivery date & time to collect.( Almost same day )
Step 6: Collect the attested DL copy is almost same day (Afternoon hours may be 2:00 PM to 4:30PM). Anybody can collect the document, if he/she has the receipt.
Step 7: The same attested copy has to be attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman. (Approximate timings 8:00AM to 12:00PM)
Step 8: In Ministry of Foreign Affairs also need to take waiting number and have to wait till number comes. Here we have to pay 3 Riyals (Approximate). The attested copy will be given immediately.
Getting learning license (LL) from Royal Oman Police (ROP)
Documents required:
1. Two (safer side take three) passport sized photos with background blue.
2. Learning license requesting application form. ( Filled in local language)
3. Attested DL. (Only for who has DL from their respective countries)
4. 5 Riyals fees (Payable by Card, no cash)
ROP will issue a LL book. Now you are eligible to sit on driving seat of training car along with trainer in side seat.
Tips & Experience

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” --Abraham Lincoln
As the above quote, take a time to learn more rather just attempting for test and diappoint. Attend more classes till you feel, you can drive confidently.
I have read few blogs about getting Driving license like "Getting DL in Oman is nightmare, ROP will fail without reason, I drove very correctly even though they failed me, since from so many i am trying & giving tests still not passed.... etc.... etc.... "
I am not supporting or blaming anybody but my personal opinion, believe me
• ROPs are doing their work perfectly.
The famous say (Quotes) - "Better that nine guilty men go free than one innocent man be convicted." Or alternatively “It is better that ten guilty escape than one innocent suffer.”
I believe in above quotes and guess ROPs as well. As per my understanding and my phrase to this situation is "It is better to fail 10 times to clear the DL test rather than allowing one imperfect person to drive and killing/injuring 10 innocent people on road".

Reasons to fail
Not enough confident on driving or Over confident, Fear to fail, Lack of communication, doing known mistakes.

Points to Pass

Be cool & Bindaas, ROP will not do anything but sits along with you in car & show the way to drive. Just obey his orders and answer his questions. While driving, don't turn or look at him. Concentrate on road and listen to orders.

• Check all mirrors, are you able to see clearly through mirrors? If no adjust. Adjust your seat settings.

• Greet the ROP with smile.Most of the ROPs are good, Soft nature persons.

• Before starting the car engine, you put the seat belt, ask ROP to put the same. If he is already wearing, don't ask again.

• He may ask questions like, what’s the speed limit. Or ask you take a turn left or right turn where no turns are allowed. I mean, he may ask you to take right turn, like below situation,
In such cases, answer him as there is no right turn and don’t wait for his answer or next order turn left side. If you observe the map/road, there is no other way than left.
• Sometimes he may ask you to park, where parking is reserved only for Handicapped
• Please find the trainer who speaks & understand English. I trained by well known local Man Mr.Suleman. We are working in same office. I am thankful to him. He trained me very well.
• If you have driving experience on left hand driving (as it in Muscat-Oman) then you need to attend 2-3 (these are depending on individual's ability) classes before attending the tests.
• If you have driving experience on right hand driving (as in India) then you need to attend 5-6 classes (these are depending on individual's ability). Initial 2-3 class will go in understanding, as we are driving Left hand driven car) next classes for understanding the roads.
• If you starting from scratch, you need to attend more training classes.

• Need to know better about "Round abouts" (Round abouts - Circles as in India)
Two lane RoundAbout

• Three lane RoundAbout

• While driving, just listen to the trainer. Never turn towards him to listen or to ask any doubts.

• Directions of Roundabout

• Do not change lanes in RoundAbout.

• Use indicators to get out of the RA
• You have to concentrate on road.
• Have to use all 3 mirrors.
• Drive according to the speed limit of respective road.
• All roads have sign boards on almost every road, watch them and drive.
• These signs asked randomly while driving test. So be careful, read and drive.
• Never change the lanes in "RoundAbouts"
Learning from others mistakes:

One of my friends are attempting 7th or 8th time for the test. I learned from them. They have given me some good tips.(Anish Krishnan and Razaak).
One of them cleared in 7th attempt and another is trying still.
 Ask mistakes of others.
After driving test, ROP will give you feedback. If you are pass, he will say or fail, he will say, why he is failing.
Some reasons for failing are mentioned below (few experiences of my friends)
Reasons --- Solutions
1.Tire touched yellow line --- Any circumstances, vehicle should not touch yellow line.

2.One of pedestrians crossing road, my friend honked  --- Allow pedestrians to cross.

3.One of pedestrians crossing road, my friend did not honk --- Should honk if, pedestrian crossing main road other than zebra path.
4.One of two wheeler overtook from right side to my friend's driving car, when these guys were waiting for traffic signal ---Should not give much space at right side, always give space left side so that others can overtake.
5. At RoundAbout, ROP asked my friend to go right. My friend didn't understand which right? First right or second right. So he asked once again by turning towards ROP, ROP did not reply.... he crossed second right also ROP didn't reply... So he took vehicle one more round. At second round he took first right turn. ----Please refer the “Directions of RoundAbout” as mentioned above one of above figures.
6. My friend was holding steering with open fingers.--- Steering has to held strong enough that it shouldn’t slip while driving
7. Driving slowly than speed limit for that particular road --- Should maintain speed limit (5 KM + or - )
If everything goes well, you will be passed and you can collect your license next day by paying 20 Oman Riyals in ROP station (By Visa/Credit/debit card).You have take 2 passport size photos and labor “Resident card” along with you. Note: I heard, till 3 moths DL license will be in observation period. If you met with major accident then your DL will be cancelled.

Remember: If you fail in the driving test, you will get another chance to pass it but if you fail traffic road, there will be no second chance.

All the best do well, you get DL in first attempt as i got ...

Best Regards,
Harsha Gurugunti
Be Cool & Be Bindaas