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Converting a UK Driving License to a Jordanian License in Amman

I recently went through the process of converting my UK driving license to a local one here in Amman, Jordan and since I found relatively little information online about the process I thought it might be useful to document for others.

My experience might differ somewhat to other people, since I have Jordanian nationality, an ID Card and a National Number.

There are essentially two steps involved: first going to the Ministry of the Interior for the Minister there to accept your foreign driving license as valid and then to the Transportation Department in Marka to convert the license. You do not have to take any kind of test, with the exception of an eye test which for me involved identifying three letters, in English.

It’s worth noting that, as with many bureaucratic processes in Jordan, you will need an Arabic speaker, and preferably an elder local man since culturally they will be given fewer problems, to come with you. You will also need considerable patience.

Documentation wise, you will obviously need to bring your UK passport and visa, or Jordanian ID if you have one, and your UK Driving License. You should bring the paper counterpart of the UK License as well since, although it’s more or less ignored by officialdom in Jordan, it’s the only thing that gives the dates of your entitlement (when you passed the test and when you need to take another one).

You will also need a couple of passport-sized photographs of yourself (the usual Jordanian heavily-touched-up three-quarter profile with a less-than-convincing-smile is perfectly acceptable) and 2 photocopies of all your documents (passport and license). The photocopies may not be accepted, and they may want to take their own, but it’s worth having them.

The overview is as follows:

Go the Ministry of the Interior, and get a signed and stamped form (you will be required to get a couple of other signed and stamped forms and move them within the ministry to get the one you take away with you) which accepts your driving license as suitable for conversion.

Take this form to the Department of Transport in Marka in order to get your license converted to a Jordanian one. We went to building 2 to register the application, where we received a form to take to building 4 (to have my criminal record checked) and building 5 (to have an eye test). Then back to building 2 to hand in the new forms and after a while, hey presto, I was handed a shiny new Jordanian driving license.

Total time, including travel, about 3 and half hours, which is pretty fantastic by Jordanian standards.

I gather that, since driving licenses are managed by the police, they are generally well organised and efficient, and certainly this process seemed less fraught with misdirection and obfuscation than some of the things I’ve done elsewhere.