I'm a Muslim making a pilgrimage to Mecca. I'm an American citizen and have a valid US driver's license.

I'm trying to find information weather I need to apply for a special license to drive my family around in the following cities: Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina. I'll be renting a car at Jeddah Airport (JED).

  • 3
    Are you male or female? Mar 13 '13 at 2:26
  • It's obvious that I'm a male asking this question about driving in Saudi Arabia.
    – Alien
    Mar 13 '13 at 2:27
  • 7
    @Alien It's not obvious and it's not necessarily obvious about you being alone.
    – Karlson
    Mar 13 '13 at 2:37
  • In case anyone's curious, a limited amount of driving by females does occur in Saudi Arabia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Mar 13 '13 at 2:56
  • 1
    @AndrewGrimm And only 10 lashes for it! There's a deal. Mar 13 '13 at 22:39

Is it safe to assume you're a male and fit the requirements including your documents to enter Mecca? Rules in Mecca are the same as the rest of Saudi Arabia. You require your license, and visa (i.e. passport or work-papers) with you at all times. BTW, a drivers license in Saudi Arabia is not considered proper ID, so carry your passport/equivalent.

Although I would err on the side of taking extra insurance. Insurance in Saudi Arabia is optional, so not all drivers you encounter on the road will be covered!

  • So I don't need to apply for something like an international driving license, right? Visa, passport, work papers, and US driver's license would suffice?
    – Alien
    Mar 13 '13 at 3:04
  • @Alien while international drivers licenses are usually only certified translations, I would suggest always carrying one with you. While not everywhere legally needed, it sure helps avoiding discussions a lot in my experience.
    – uncovery
    Mar 13 '13 at 7:42
  • 1
    Insurance is mandatory now. Mar 13 '13 at 9:26
  • @uncovery agreed! Even if they do accept it, it's questionable if you'll be insured properly without it. So double check your policies. Mar 13 '13 at 22:35

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