Getting a driving licence made easy

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Those seeking admission in driving schools in Qatar are no longer required to produce a no objection letter from the sponsor.

Enquiries with several driving schools yesterday revealed that they have done away with the old system, apparently under instructions from the authorities concerned. The change in the application procedures came into force only a few days ago.

Additionally, the applicants can now undergo eye tests in a private clinic or with a licensed optician and obtain a certificate to be submitted with the application, said the sources. Earlier, the tests had to be done at the facility functioning in the premises of the Traffic and Patrol Department.

The changes are intended to make the application procedures easier and less complicated, said the school sources. “All that is required now is the eye test results, the person's photographs and copy of the ID or passport. Letter from the sponsor is not required anymore,” said a senior employee of a driving school.

However, those who are on visit and don't hold a residence permit are still required to obtain a letter from the sponsor, said the sources.

The relaxation in rules would benefit a number of unskilled and semi-skilled workers seeking a driving licence, since they don't have to obtain a letter from the sponsor.

The previous system was misused by some sponsors, who forced the workers to pay huge sums just for putting a signature on the approval letter. The sponsor would also refuse the letter, if he/she has any personal issues with the worker.

The number of people seeking admission in driving schools has increased manifold in recent years, thanks to the increasing influx of foreign workers to the country.

The Pen