How to Renew Car Registration (Istemara) in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia Car Registration is called (Istemara استمارة). Below I will try to explain how to do it. Either you have a car, a van, an suv or any kind of vehicle in Saudi Arabia and it is registered under your name you can renew its Government Registration by visiting any Moroor (Traffic Police Center). Basically Renewing Car Registration in Saudi Arabia is a process of 3 Steps as follows.

A Sample Vehicle Number Plate of Saudi Arabia
A Sample Vehicle Number Plate of Saudi Arabia
  1. Car Insurance
  2. Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)
  3. Car Registration with Traffic Police

Car Insurance (in Saudi Arabia)

There are many private Insurance companies who are offering Car Insurance in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this insurance is to make sure Financial rights of other vehicle owners whose vehicle is damaged by you in a road accident. In such case a representative from Traffic Police will investigate the accident and declare who is more responsible for the road accident. Once he investigates and issues a final evaluation report either party in the accident can visit Insurance Company and claim to pay the amount, whatever the cost is to repair his vehicle. So to drive a vehicle on Saudi roads you need to have a valid car insurance plan. Normally Car insurance plans are issued for one year period. Before going to renew your car registration make sure that your vehicle has a valid insurance. You may check that from Ministry of Interior’s website. Vist this section of MOI Website and put the identity number (Iqama No.) or Saudi National ID number, additionally fill out your car registration number plate. Upon submitting proper information you will be informed either you car insurance is valid or not. In some cases you got an Insurance policy printed paper with you however the insurance is not registered with Traffic police, in that case you will find “invalid insurance” message on MOI website. This means that you have to get a new car insurance plan by such a company which has registration with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police. As per my experience MedGulf and United Insurance are registered with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police department. This insurance policy costs from 370 SR to 490 SR.

Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)

Firstly make sure that your car Inspection Report i.e. Fahas is valid. If it is not you got to go through your vehicle to Fahas (Inspection) process. If your vehicle is in very good condition you could easily go through Fahas process without any additional fix. However if you doubt it would be better to take it to Mechanic (Workshop). Most Mechanics know what are the main factors to fix for Fahas process. If your Mechanic doesn’t know these factors, take your vehicle to the area where Inspection Center is located in your city. 

In Jeddah Inspection Center or Fahas Dori (فحص دوري) is located in Al-Marwah Distt. It is intersection of Prince Mitab Street (40th Street) with Hira Street. You can relocate Motor Vehicle Periodic Inspection Center in this link at google maps.

To prepare your vehicle for Inspection, first choose any workshop among many, which are located in Opposite side of center. The Mechanic will check the car and suggest you any possible fixtures which are required for inspection process. You may consult more than one workshop to make sure Car Mechanics are not cheating you. The Inspection consist of following parts / issues of a vehicle as mentioned by Life in KSA blog here.

Headlights, Brake Lights, Parking Lights, Indicators, Light Beams, Horn, Wipers, Wiper Rubbers, Regular Brakes and Hand Brake, Visible and Prominent Damage to car, wheel alignment, Wind Screen crackes and visibility issues, Back View Mirrors, No Black Smoke or huge smoke from Car silencer, Oil Leakage, Damages under the Vehicle.

Once the Mechanic finishes fixing problems in your vehicle, find any suitable office for filling the forms (required for renewing car registration). If you are well familiar with Arabic Language do it by yourself. Now take your vehicle inside the inspection center, it is a big area in which vehicles are moving toward inspection garage in a queue. There is a minor fee of inspection as well. Wait for your turn and if your Vehicle is passed in all tests, you may now move to next step. In case your vehicle is failed in the inspection test, take it back to the same Mechanic you consulted earlier and ask him to fix the trouble. Upon fixture take your vehicle inside again for a successful completion of inspection. Upon entering second time and third time fee is slightly less than first time.

Car Registration with Traffic Police

Upon successful completion of inspection, collect your vehicle inspection report and now your vehicle is ready for registration. Below I will mention which are required documents / requirements for renewing car registration.

What Documents are Required for Renewing Vehicle Registration

  1. Copy of Previous Vehicle Registration Card (Istemara) + Original
  2. Copy of Valid Inspection Report + Original
  3. Copy of Iqama for non-saudis, National ID Card for Saudis + Original

Once you have all these documents take them inside Traffic Police Office / Moroor which is located inside Periodic Vehicle Inspection Center. Take your documents to the reception and the officer will tell you to wait for your turn. If everything is ok you will get your renewed Car Registration Card (Istemara) in less than 10 minutes. In case of any problem or trouble, the officer will tell you the problem. Then you can fix this problem and bring your file again to the same place.

Getting Driving License in Saudi Arabia

saudi-arabian-driving-license-sample
A Sample of Saudi Arabian Driving License

Getting driving license in Saudi Arabia has been made one of the easiest task as compared to past. It is a straight forward process which is as simple as you can expect. It doesn’t require too much money or illegal ways. It is straight forward and direct. I categories people which are willing to get driving license in to 3 categories. Category #1 can be further divided in to 2 sub-categories.

  1. You are well familiar with driving, cars and road signals and has good experience on the road.
    1. Also You have an official driving license of another country.
    2. But You don’t have an official driving license of any country
  2. You are a little familiar with driving, you drove car for a few times but you don’t have experience with road and don’t have a good confidence on road.
  3. You don’t know anything about cars, driving, road signals etc

For people in category # 1 it is a fast process to obtain Saudi driving license. I describe it below. 1.A. Get your original non-Saudi driving license, and visit any of driving schools you are comfortable with. There are Arabic or Asian based guys wondering outside or just beside the school gate. If they are not there, check for any General Service shop. These agency shops are common and must exist beside every driving school. The most authenticated will be the one that is inside the school boundary. Visit them and ask them to fill out your form for driving license. They will request you for 6 personal photographs and your original Iqama (Saudi Arabian ID/work permit/residence card etc). Provide them both thing, They will ask a few more details like Blood group, mobile number, work-place, designation, sponsor name etc. In the past blood group must be checked at the spot but now more relaxation in the rules have been made. But now they only ask it from you and put the information on your behalf. After filling out the form they might ask you if you want to pay the driving license fee. I suggest not to do this because these agencies charge up to 50 SR more than actual amount. Furthermore it is not a compulsory step done at spot. It can be done later via any bank account. If you feel comfortable paying extra money just submit the fee. These guys will charge you from 10 to 15 Saudi Riyals. These days Driving License Fee is categories ed into 3 levels.

  1. 2 Years Driving License = 80 SR
  2. 5 Years Driving License = 130 SR
  3. 10 Years Driving License = 400 SR

After that you go inside the Driving License Office and submit your form to related window. Once submitted they will guide you for further steps. Later on you will be asked for a blood test and an eyesight test. If you succeed in those Medical tests you are ready for Evaluation test, in which an authorized representative from Driving School will check your driving skills. He might be in a uniform like police man but don’t be afraid of him. He is there just to monitor you, not to arrest you or beat you 🙂 Upon your turn for evaluation test, be calm, enter in car, close the door, fasten your seat belt, check gasoline indicator in dashboard, clear hand brake and wait for instructions. The instructions normally come in Arabic Language, however if you don’t understand they monitoring person will repeat in English with the words (Start, Go, etc). Follow the instruction, don’t push the accelerator pedal too much, keep it between 1500 rpm to 2500 rpm, be alert, they monitoring person may any time ask for apply brake or take a sharp turn. Finally he will complete your evaluation test and hand over your papers (file) back to you, that he already received from you upon entering the car. He might categorize your driving skills from A, B, C. In Arabic (ا، ب، ج). Take your file to the office where you submitted earlier, you will be guided to move to a specific window where you will be informed…

  1. Number of Days You got to attend driving school.
  2. The Date when your driving classes will start.

Also you have to pay the school fee that is (435 SR) currently. Then you have to join a training program of 5 or 15 days as per your grade which is based on Field Training at Vehicle and Class Room Training. Finally after completing training you will be given a Final Driving Test Date. Also you will be given a big printed paper that has all the road symbols, traffic signals, road signs etc. That is for your computer signals test. Remember all of them in your brain. Now join the driving classes on specified date, participate in field training at car, ask questions from your instructor whatever you don’t understand. There is a class room training everyday in which you will be given knowledge of road signs and signals. Take a look at the video of Driving Training in Jeddah Driving School.

After successful completion of Driving classes, you will be given a final driving test date which is based on driving the car inside the school and a computer test.

Final Driving Test

Final test consist of 3 basic skills.

  1. Handling the car on the steep Bridge (In which you should not let the car move back)
  2. Driving the Car in “8” shaped area with sharp turns.
  3. Reverse Parking in a Plus (+) shaped area.

If you learned all these things well during your driving classes, you will successfully convince the monitoring person to Pass you. If you pass it, you will be redirected to Computer Test Room, where you have to answer 17 Correct options out of 20 questions. If you pass it straight forward your file is stamped with “Passed”, in Arabic (ناجح) and you will be asked to collect your Saudi Driving License within next 2 days. Make sure to submit Driving License Fee before this test, I mentioned this fee at the beginning.

How to Change Profession in Saudi Arabia

Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia

Changing your Profession in Saudi Arabia doesn’t mean to leave your existing job and do something else but it means to change the profession that is mentioned on your Work Permit or Iqama. Why do someone want to change it? because it has huge impact on benefits and facilities you get in Saudi Arabia being a foreign worker. Including ability to apply for a Family Visa for yourself.

To Change Profession mentioned in your work permit you got to fulfill some requirements and rules. As per Saudi Arabian Ministry of labor you must be doing a technical job and earning a good lively hood to support your family in the Kingdom. That’s why labors and general staff are not entitled to apply for a family visa.

If an expatriate want to call his family on resident visa he must belong to a professional or technical job and his/her work permit should also state that. Every expatriate in Saudi Arabia has an Iqama (Resident permit) which states his profession.

If an expatriate is living in Saudi Arabia and his profession is not eligible for applying for a family visa he got an option to change his profession in his/her work permit. This doesn’t mean he has to change his job, but this is just like a requirement in documents.

1. Prerequisites to Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia

Once you have done Documents attestation from Saudi Consulate in your home country, bring your documents in Saudi Arabia and attest again from following.

  • Consulate of your home countery
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia (located in Jeddah or any other city called خارجیہ)

2. Submit an Application for Change of Profession

Your company / sponsor must issue a letter that you are an employee to them and doing same kind of work as per your qualification and degree and also you are intended to change your profession as per same work. Now translate your degree into Arabic from an approved Translation Center in Saudi Arabia.

Then Find a good General Service Agency/Agent. These agencies and agents have their offices at Jawazat Street in Jeddah and you can find by yourself in other cities. Discuss necessary details with them. They will tell their requirements and fees.  Settle a suitable amount that is acceptable for both parties. Also make sure your new profession will be eligible for Applying a Family Visa, the best option to ask is nearest Istikdam Office (The department of Ministry of Labor which is responsible for issuing Family Visas to expatriates working Saudi Arabia.)

Once your profession is changed to a suitable profession you may apply for a family visa anytime. Further process is very simple that I will explain later.

How to Get your Degree Attested from your Home Country

Attesting Documents from Saudi Embassy in your home country
Degree / Diploma Attested

To change your Profession in your Saudi Work Permit or Iqama, you must have a valid University degree or a 3 years technical diploma which is attested by Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country. To attest your degree you must have gone through the following process. This is a Prerequisite to Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia.

1. Request a Letter from your Company; to Saudi Consulate for Attesting your Degree / Diploma.

If you are already present in Saudi Arabia, You need a letter from your Company/Sponsor to Saudi Consulate in your home country. The Letter should state that you are having an Iqama and working in Saudi Arabia and company has no objection if Saudi Embassy will attest your degree, then attest this letter from chamber of commerce in Saudi Arabia. Soon I will post a snapshot of this letter.

However if you are not present in Saudi Arabia or you didn’t reach Saudi Arabia yet, request such a letter from your employer via email or telephone and ask them to send original copy of the letter via Postal Service.

2. What else is required to Get your Degree / Diploma Attested

Once you received such a letter, gather below documents in one file.

  1. Letter from your Employer to Saudi Consulate (Explained Above)
  2. Copy of your Iqama
  3. Copy of your passport.
  4. Original Degree or Diploma
Now move to step 3. The next steps should be done in your home country.

3. Prerequisites of Getting your Degree / Diploma Attested from Saudi Consulate in your Home Country

Before submitting it for attestation from Saudi Embassy / Consulate get your degree attested by yourself from following offices.

  • Higher Education Commission of your home country
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country

Once degree/diploma is get attested from above, Move to step 4

4. Finally Submit to Saudi Consulate for Attestation

Contact any recruiting agency, travel agency or agent who is specialized for dealing with Consulate of Saudi Arabia in your home country. Almost all the agents who arrange Umrah Visas can help you in attesting your documents. Make sure to attest degree from following.

  • Saudi Culture Center in home country
  • Saudi Consulate in home country

In Pakistan all these offices are located in Islamabad. Please note that you can’t go to embassy yourself for this work, you should find an agent who is approved by Saudi Consulate to do this. This is the website of one of the agents doing this.

http://www.skylinkservices.org/

Getting Family Visa in Saudi Arabia

How to Get Family Visa in Saudi Arabia - A Step by Step Guide fo

Everyone among expatriates who are working in Saudi Arabia and living without their families, is interested in having family visa for Saudi Arabia. Because it is not easy to survive in a location where you don’t have your relatives, friends, language mates etc.

Being an expatriate I have gone through this process so I would like to share the process of getting family visa so others can benefit.

Below are prerequisites  and procedures which are required to obtain a Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. This process is divided many steps to make it clear and understandable. Before thinking or proceeding in to this you must be aware that you are required to have a Valid Saudi Iqama, a Suitable Technical Profession that is eligible for applying a family visa as per Saudi Arabian labor laws. If you are not sure your profession is suitable for a family visa you may ask your company’s HR department, legal advisory or corporate representative.

.First Applying for the visa (being in Saudi Arabia) and Second is Applying for Visa Stamping from your Home Country.

Applying for Family Visa Pre-Requisites

Please gather these documents.

  1. Copy of Your iqama.
  2. Copy of Your passport which includes information page, Visa page, Airport Entry Stamp page.
  3. Original Marriage certificate that is attested by Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.
  4. Arabic Translation of Marriage Certificate from an approved Translation center located in Saudi Arabia.
  5. Graduation Degree or 3 Years Technical Diploma with attestation from Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.
  6. Arabic Translation of Degree from an approved Translation center located in Saudi Arabia.

Procedure for applying Family Visa

  • Get a Letter from your employer which is describing your Profession and salary.
  • Get a Visa Application form from HR Department of your company or nearest Istikdam Office or download it from Pro Saudi Blog, Fill the form in Arabic. Normally the Legal Advisor of your company should do this sort of stuff. (Get this form filled by any Arabic literate person).
  • The Family Visa application form should be stamped/signed by your sponsor(kafeel,company) and you.
  • Get these documents ( pre-requisites + Letter + Visa Application Form) and bind them in one file.
  • Visit Nearest Istikdam office in your city and apply for the visa. Further information can be gathered from the office itself.
  • Istikdam office clerk will issue you a Yellow paper which is actually a Family visa. If Istikdam office didn’t issue in the first appearance, he may give you a later time to come and collect it.
  • After Getting the Yellow paper you can start processing Family Visa from your home country through an agent.
How to get visa stamped in your home country can be discussed in future soon. Keep visiting our blog.

Disclaimer: The author of this blog is not a law professional and does not hold any responsibility of misunderstanding and wrong doing of anyone. The author of the blog has gone through all this process, (1. Documents attestation from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, 2. Change of Profession, 3. Applying for a family visa, 4. Stamping visa to passport from Saudi Embassy and finally getting family in Saudi Arabia. So the above information should be considered a guide-line or information.

The author is not affiliated with any Recruiting Agency, Travel Agency, General Services Agency, Legal firm or Job Provider. The author will not accept any claim of misguidance, fraud or any other thing of same kind. Saudi Arabian Govt might change the law anytime in future so the best option for you to get family visa is; consult responsible department of your company.

Permanent Family Visa Application Form Saudi Arabia Download

Expats community in Saudi Arabia is seeking and requesting information and required Forms for applying Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. So I decided I will try to put this info at my blog to make it available for the expats community.

Here is Permanent Family visa application form for Non Saudi persons, you can download it from here. It is MS Word file. Although it is available on many Arabic forums but due to not having much familiarity with Arabic language expatriates miss this. In Arabic it is called طلب استقدام للأفراد غير السعودين

If you don’t know which documents are required and what is the procedure for getting family visa then I have compiled this post for you. Read it fully to understand family visa step by step process. How to Get a Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. Family Visa in Saudi Arabia requires a suitable profession, if your profession is not eligible for family visa you can read here how to change your profession in Saudi Arabia.

Download Permanent Family Visa Application Form

Click Here to Download Family Visa Application form in Ms Word.

Click Here to Download Family Visa Application form in PDF

The form look like this. You have to fill this form and collect other required documents and visit Istikdam office.

Permanent-Family-Visa-Application-Form-Saudi-Arabia