Drive in USA with Saudi License

drive in usa with saudi driving license

If you are a Saudi citizen planning to visit the United States, you may wonder whether you can legally drive with your Saudi license.

The answer is yes. A Saudi driving license is valid in the United States for a limited period.

However, there are certain requirements and regulations that you must follow to ensure that you are driving legally and safely.

Obtaining an International Driving Permit

You must first obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the United States with a Saudi license.

An IDP is an official translation of your Saudi driver’s license that allows you to drive in foreign countries. You can apply for an IDP at the traffic department in your home country or through an automobile association like the Saudi Automobile and Touring Association (SATA).

The IDP is valid for one year and must be carried with your original license while driving in the United States.

Understanding Traffic Laws in the US

Before you start driving in the US, you must familiarize yourself with the traffic laws and regulations in the state where you plan to drive. While the basic rules of the road are similar across the country, there may be differences in speed limits, traffic signals, and right-of-way laws. 

Additionally, some states require drivers to wear seat belts at all times, while others prohibit using handheld devices while driving. It’s vital to research the specific laws of your destination state to avoid any fines or legal trouble.

Insurance Requirements

In the United States, all drivers are required to have car insurance to operate a vehicle legally. While some insurance providers may offer coverage to international drivers, it’s vital to research your options and ensure adequate coverage before driving.

You can also consider purchasing insurance from a provider in your home country that offers international coverage.

Tips for Saudi License Holders to Drive in the USA

If you are a Saudi license holder planning to drive in the United States.

Here are some valuable tips for Saudi license holders to drive in the USA:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the vehicle: If you plan to rent a car in the US, take some time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle before hitting the road. Pay attention to the location of the steering wheel, gear shift, and other controls, as well as any differences in driving laws or customs.
  2. Plan your route: Before driving, plan your route to avoid getting lost or stranded in unfamiliar territory. Use a GPS or map to navigate, and consider downloading a driving app to help you find the nearest gas stations, restaurants, and rest areas.
  3. Follow traffic laws: Obey traffic laws and regulations, including speed limits, traffic signals, and right-of-way laws. Always wear your seatbelt and avoid using handheld devices while driving, as this is illegal in many states.
  4. Stay alert: Driving in the US can be challenging, especially in busy urban areas or on long, monotonous highways. Stay alert, take regular breaks, switch drivers if possible, and avoid driving late at night or when you are tired or distracted.
  5. Be prepared for emergencies: Accidents and breakdowns can happen anytime, so it’s important to be ready for emergencies. Keep a first aid kit, spare tire, and emergency supplies in your car, and know how to contact roadside assistance or emergency services if needed.

By following these tips, Saudi license holders can enjoy a safe and stress-free driving experience in the United States.

Road Conditions

Driving conditions in the United States can vary widely depending on the region and time of year. Weather can be a significant factor in driving safety, with snow and ice making roads treacherous in some areas during winter.

Additionally, rural roads may be less well-maintained than urban areas, and construction zones can cause delays and detours. It’s essential to exercise caution and stay alert while driving to avoid accidents and ensure your safety.


Driving in the USA with a Saudi license is possible with the proper documentation and preparation.

By obtaining an International Driving Permit, understanding traffic laws, securing insurance, and being aware of road conditions, you can safely and legally explore the country by car. 

I'm Waheed Akhtar, a driving enthusiast in Saudi Arabia. My passion for road safety and education drives me to share valuable insights from my personal journey. Let's connect.



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