Saudi Arabia Begins Issuing Driver’s Licenses to Women in Historic Moment

Saudi Arabia has finally started issuing driver’s licenses to women after King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a royal decree last year allows rights to drive in what is being considered a historical moment.

On Monday, the general traffic directorate officially replaced the internationally recognized driving licenses that many women in the country have with official Saudi licenses, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) via Al Jazeera.

The exchange process is taking place on various spots around the kingdom to lay the ground for women sitting behind the wheels on the roads – a turning point set to be actualized on June 24,” according to the SPA.

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Ten women reportedly showed up at the General Department of Traffic in multiple cities to get their foreign licenses swapped with official ones. The women already have licenses from different countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Lebanon, and Canada, TIME reported.

A video of a woman who recently got her driver’s license in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh went viral.

About 2,000 licenses are expected to be issued sometime next week, a statement from the ministry of information said.

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Some women are also preparing for the actualization of their rights to drive by taking up driving classes on several female-only campuses in Saudi Arabia, while others considered training to become a driver for ride-hailing companies such as Uber.

Last month, 17 activists were arrested during their campaign to shine a light on women’s rights to drive in the country. Eight of the female activists have already been released, while five men and four women still remain under arrest.

Featured Image (left) via YouTube / VOA News | (right) via Twitter / arabnews

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