We live in an age where humans are ever reliant on automobiles or vehicles as their main means of transportation from location to another mainly because of comfort and convenience. The numbers of new vehicles registered in Ghana has risen dramatically in the past few years, although slowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but either way, driving in Ghana is a necessity. If you are planning on relocating to Ghana and you want to start driving as soon as possible, below you’ll find the steps to convert your foreing driver’s license in Ghana.

Ghana’s Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency

DVLA is the agency responsible for issuing driving licences in Ghana

Current statistics show that there is a general estimation of about 1.42 billion operational cars worldwide. Including 1.06 billion passenger cars and 363 million commercial vehicles. With the aforementioned figure in mind, most countries around the world regulate the use of automobiles through the creation of agencies that award licenses to qualified drivers to ensure the safety of their citizens.

Just as other countries, Ghana’s Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency -also known as the DVLA- is the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of citizens on Ghanaian roads.

DVLA was established in 1999 by act 569 of Ghana’s parliament. The aforementioned act allowed the authority to have a semi-autonomous status in the public sector organization under the directives of the Ministry of Transport. The DVLA currently holds more than 49 million driver records and more than 40 million vehicle records.

Who can drive in Ghana?

Ghana’s constitution permits individuals aged 18 and older to drive. However, to do so, they would need to possess a legal driver license in Ghana. Citizens and residents can apply for a 3-month learners license online, after which a written exam is conducted.

In order to proceed to the final exam, candidates would be required to score 70% or higher in the exams. If the candidate passes the written exam, he/she has to take another test, this time the test would be to identify and explain several road signs. If the road test exam is passed, the candidate then proceeds to finally take a driving test with a DVLA instructor.

After successfully passing the driving test, the would-be driver is given a cover note which he has to present on the given date to receive his driving license. The awarded license is subject to renewal every 2 years.

How Foreign Residents Can Gain A DVLA License

Foreign residents or expatriates who no longer need the services of cab drivers or chauffeurs to get by, can also apply for a driver’s license in Ghana. Generally, foreigners in Ghana with an International Driver’s license are allowed to drive with it for up to one year.

Someone planning on staying for more than one year would have to get a Ghana DVLA approved license. Applying for such a license requires the provision of a legal foreign driving license and translating it into English language in addition to four passport size photographs for easier processing.

The translation must come from the Ghana School of Languages, the consulate of the license holderNext. The applicant must have the necessary paperwork to be a legal resident in Ghana (at least one year stay or a letter from a Ghanaian employee).

Applicants must also satisfy the following requirements:

  • A photocopy of foreign driver’s license and residence permit as well as providing a residence permit which is more than three months from its expiration date.
  • Authentication from issuing authority embassy or high commission.
  • Letter from employer or dependent in Ghana
  • Non-citizenship card (for foreigners).
  • Payment of prescribed fee.
  • Filling of required forms.

After satisfying the above, applicants will appear in person to take a road signs, markings and eye test. After which a cover note will be issued. With this, foreigners can get by and enjoy driving freely through Ghana without the hassle of hiring chauffeurs, cab drivers or using public transportation options. In about 3 months the license can be collected from the DVLA facility.

Now that you’re ready to drive around Ghana, make sure to learn some tips on how to avoid traffic in Accra. Traffic congestions in Accra are very common, so it can be a little frustrating.

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