Can foreigners drive in Rwanda?

Do I Need A Driving License In Rwanda?

Everyone who is 18 years old and above needs a Government permit(driving license) to be able to drive in Rwanda.

So, What do you need to acquire a Rwandan driving license?

If you’ll start afresh, you’ll have to register in a local driving school then book a test.

Driving license exam starts with a road codes or regulations exam, you can buy a book and learn by yourself. You can choose to do the exam in Kinyarwanda, French or English. And you can even do it on the computer. You’ll then get a provisional driving license which would allow you to learn to drive and pass a final exam for driving license. There are plenty of driving schools in Rwanda and some speak English and French very well.

Here is where the research gets a bit tricky.  Below are the rules and steps to get a valid International Driver’s License.  We want to make sure you have that information.  However, we called to verify with the Rwanda Police Department and they confirmed that a US and certain countries current and valid drivers license is efficient and there is NO NEED TO CHANGE YOUR LICENSE.


Here is what the rules say:

For a foreigner who is living in Rwanda needs to have a Residence Certificate and Rwandan ID Card for Foreigners/Work Permit.

If you have an international Driving license, you can drive in Rwanda with a valid Passport.

How do I get a Rwanda drivers license?

However, in case you don’t have an international driving license, here are the procedures for you to convert or exchange it for a Rwandan license:

  • One can only apply for this service at the Traffic Police Department at the Rwanda National Police Headquarters.
  • The applicant must write a letter to the Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety Department requesting the conversion or exchange of the foreign driver license for a Rwandese definitive driving license.
  • After the approval of the request by the traffic and road safety commissioner, the applicant can apply for the conversion or exchange of the driving license through a one-stop portal for e-Government services called irembo.
  • By visiting e-service website , one can access the conversion or exchange of the foreign driver license service by clicking the “Replacement of Definitive driving license” under the police section in the services offered.
  • You required to pay a processing fee of 50,000 RWF and the process usually takes 21 days to complete.
  • When the Rwandese definitive driver license is processed and ready a notification for collection will be sent to the applicant through E-mail and/or SMS.  S/he can be required to physically present him/herself to the traffic department HQ to collect the definitive driving license.
  • You are also required to present proof of identification when collecting the new driver’s license. 

Required Documents

  • A Letter addressed to the Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety Department
  • Passport Or Identification Card
  • Photocopy of Foreign Driver License
  • Medical examination report
  • Payment receipt

Office Locations & Contacts

RNP Traffic Department Headquarters

Republic of Rwanda – Rwanda National Police

KN 1 Rd, Kigali, Rwanda

P.O. BOX 6304

Kigali, Rwanda

Phone: +250 788311155

Email: info@police.gov.rw

Website: http://www.police.gov.rw  


To be eligible, one must be:

  • at least 18 years and above
  • a holder of a foreign driving license.
  • of sound health, especially sight.


You pay only a processing fee of 50,000 RWF for converting or exchanging a foreign driving license.

Processing Time

The maximum processing time to convert or exchange a foreign driving license in Rwanda is twenty-one (21) days


  • The validity of the Converted or Exchanged driving license is set according to your age category  at the time of the conversion or exchange of the driving license.
  • The validity period is 10 years for people aged 65 years or younger; For people aged between 65 and 70 years, they will consider the number of years remaining before they turn 73 years old as the validity period; while the validity period is 3 years for people aged 70 years and older.


  • Firstly, One must be 18 years of age and above
  • One must be a holder of foreign definitive driving license and who wants to replace them with a Rwandan definitive driving license.
  • Lastly, You also have to take a medical examination to check your sight health 

Required Information

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • City of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Domicile or residence
  • Valid identity proof
  • Citizenship
  • Address
  • Occupation

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One Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this. This article was very helpful and much needed for my planning process.

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