After relocating to Bahrain, and getting settled, the next step for majority of expats is ‘getting a driving license’. While hundreds of scary stories are already in the market, about the difficulties linked with obtaining driving license in Middle East, the process is actually very simple and streamlined. Here is how you go about it:

Get Registered

The first step is getting registered. Get your essential documents, including your CPR, Passport and passport size pictures, and head towards General Directorate of Traffic (Driving School, A’ Ali). You would be handed over a form and ticket number and taken for an eye test. You can just fill and submit then and there, if you have the documents mentioned above with you.
Once the form is submitted and the fee is paid (34.5 BD), you would receive your instructions booklet, date for the theory class, attendance booklet and the learner’s license.

Attend the Theory Class

The classes take place every day, and you might get a seat on the very next day (I got mine for the next day). This lecture is mandatory, and the instructor provides detailed account of all the do’s and don’t, basic rules of driving and also some useful tips regarding the driving test.

Find an Instructor

This step is definitely the most important one- you have to look for a driving instructor to get ready for the test. While there is a list of instructors available online and at the driving school, you can also find many of them standing with their cars in the parking area reserved for instructors, within school. While the fee per hour is officially same (7 BD/ hour), other factors are negotiable. Each applicant is supposed to take at least 22 hours of driving classes, which is generally divided into 11 classes of 2 hours each. 
Classes schedule is totally flexible, and is decided by the mutual understanding of the instructor and the student. Some instructors also agree to pick the student up from their place, which proves to be an additional benefit.

Apply for Test Date

The next step is booking a test date. While the instructors and some other individuals also offer their services, the procedure is very simple indeed, and the student can easily apply online through the official website. All the details are available on the website, and you just need your CPR and the instructor’s code to apply for the test date (the code would be provided by the instructor). Choose from the available test dates and timings available online, pay the test fee (10 BD) and don’t forget to print the online test voucher. Moreover, the test dates can be changed online, the option is available only once, and the alteration must be made at least 24 hours before the test.

The Test Day

On the test day, you are required to reach at least 30 minutes before the test time. Take your attendance booklet (signed by the instructor as well as student) with you, along with your learner license and the CPR, and wait for your turn.
If the test is cleared, you would be asked to collect your driving license from the front desk, after paying the fees, and you are all set to hit the road.

On the contrary, if you do not clear the test, the examiner would highlight your faults and would recommend more learning hours (the learning hours are determined by the examiner, and must be completed before taking the second test).