Changing Your Driver’s License in Oman

This post will be most helpful to Americans.

I have heard conflicting information on how soon you need to change your driver’s license once you arrive and start driving in Oman. Some Americans can rent a car without the car rental place batting an eye at a foreign driver’s license. This was not the case for me.

Changing your license to an Omani license is, however, incredibly easy. You will simply need to gather the following documents:

1.) Your Oman residence card
2.) Your American Driver’s License
3.) An eye exam from the optometrist (mine charged 2 OMR)
4.) Two passport photos with a blue background (I got four and was charged 1 OMR)
5.) A blood test from a local clinic showing your blood type (it gets printed on your Omani driver’s license, this cost me 2 OMR at a private hospital).
6.) A photo copy of your American License

You need to take these documents and go to the local Royal Oman Police in your province, which will probably be different from the local city police station. If you live in the same area where you got your foreigner registration card, this will be the same colored mega complex taking up it’s own huge plot of land in the middle of the desert outside your city. You want to find the part of the building that also features as the DMV, for me, this was the building on the far end, away from the main entrance.

You’ll know you’re in the right place because it will be buzzing. Take a number. Sit. Wait. Get called up. Have your documents examined politely (the folks in my office surely had never seen an American license before).

The whole process took 25 minutes for me, but then, it was closing time on a Thursday before a holiday and I could tell from the atmosphere that nobody in that entire building was going to stay a minute late. They took my card and charged me 10 OMR plus change. They printed my Omani license and also gave me an important info card stating that what I had been given was only a PROVISIONAL LICENSE, meaning it was valid for one year and if I could pass that year without racking up more than 6 points in traffic violations (vague), than I would get a real license.

This is what I know. In all, it cost me 15 OMR, a few errands, and 40 minutes at the Royal Oman Police station down the road.

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