Muscat: Those who obtain a driving licence for automatic gear shift vehicles from a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country other than Oman, can swap the document to drive in Oman without passing another test, but for manual gear shift vehicles, passing a driving test remains mandatory, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) has clarified.

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However, a senior ROP official said, to be able to drive a vehicle with manual gears, motorists would still have to pass a test.

Clearing the mist, the official clarified that many expatriates believe that there is no need now to exchange their driving licence when moving to other GCC countries but that rule is still in its place, despite the new-look licences bearing a new logo.

“It is only the GCC logo that has been incorporated into the newly issued licences and nothing else,” said the source.

The source explained that expatriates need to obtain a new driving licence in lieu of their current one once they move to another Gulf country.

“They need to obtain a new driving licence from the country they are shifting to,” said the source.

“Once a driving licence is issued by any of the GCC countries, then there is no need to pass another driving test. One can simply replace the old licence with a new one under the same condition,” explained the source.

“When an expatriate obtains an automatic gear vehicle driving licence, issued in any one of the GCC countries, the ROP will issue a driving licence that will allow the driver to drive only an automatic gear vehicle not the manual gear vehicle and vice-versa,” said the source.

S Sreekumar, an expatriate,  thanked the ROP official for clearing the confusion over the new driving licences because everybody was coming out with their interpretation of the new law making matter the worse.

“It means the law remains the same barring the addition of a new GCC logo in the licence,” he added.


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