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For The First Time Saudi Arabia Issues Women Driving License

Saudi Arabia is issuing the first driving license for women. For the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, women are getting national driving license.

The issuance of license started weeks prior to the official lift on the ban on female drivers.

On Monday, the General Traffic Directorate started replacing the internationally recognized driving licenses held by Saudi women to national ones. The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported the policy being implemented across the country.

Ten Saudi women now have national license issued. They swapped the international ones with at the general Department of Traffic with national ones. The government mentions this implementation enabled in multiple state.


The revolutionary policy is expected to be implemented from 24th of June, 2018 throughout the states of Saudi Arabia.

The ministry of information mentions that within a week, about 2,000 licenses are expected to be issued.

Esraa Albuti, the executive director at Ernst and Young, is one of the first women to issue a Saudi driving license. A video of the first women who issued first license in the capital, Riyadh, went viral on social media.

Saudi Arabia is known for having some of the tightest restrictions on women. Therefore, the issuance of national driving license is a significant positive news for the women in the area.


In opposition to the long existing rule, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a royal verdict in September 2017. He mentioned that women will be allowed to drive in accordance to the Islamic laws.

Is it enough?

Before this decree, women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the protesters to legalize this decree were arrested, and are yet to be released.

Moreover, in May, a number of women’s rights activists were arrested and branded threat to national security.

These activists emphasized for the right to drive. Additionally, they will be imprisoned for almost 20 years, if they are convicted.


Last month, a number of women’s rights activists, who staunchly advocated for the right to drive, were arrested and branded threats to national security. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Regardless of this attempt of providing driving license, there are people who are not celebrating this decree.

The arrested activists are not bailed out till day, therefore people have a doubt on Riyadh’s commitment on their Vision 2030.

The Vision 2030 aims to make Saudi Arabia less dependent on oil for development. Similarly, the vision aims driving economic development through increased expenditure on infrastructural development.

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