What are the Documents Required to Drive a Car in Nigeria?

How to Drive a Car in Nigeria and Documents for Driving a Car in Nigeria

An encounter with the Nigerian police force or the FRSC while riding on the road without certain documents will be horrible. However, this can be averted. The real problem is the fact that Nigerians do not know the documents required to drive a car in Nigeria.

Documents Required to Drive a Car in Nigeria

PS: Forget about the official this and that you read on government websites. It is different when you put your car on the road.

Pretty many drivers in Nigeria has encountered some sort of harassment from the police. Although drivers have been instructed on what to do, some still fail to. We all know it’s safer to possess the car documents required by Nigerian police to avoid harassment. On this note, this article will highlight the documents Nigeria police should ask for on the road. Below are the necessary car documents car owners should drive with.

Documents Required to Drive a Car in Nigeria

  1. Car Drivers License

It’s crucial to have a legitimate driver’s license. And you know, without a license, one isn’t eligible to drive, regardless of other car documents. Even your driving skills do not count without a drivers license in Nigeria. The main confirmation of your driving ability is the driver’s license. It definitely has to be the first car document issued to police in Nigeria. With about 6,000 Naira, a drivers license would be yours. This price also depends on the state you’re basing in.

How to Get a Drivers License in Nigeria

Here are the simple procedures to get a valid drivers license for yourself whether you own a car or not.

  • Enroll at a qualified driving school. The driving school should be able to issue all road guides and rules within a short period.
  • VIO examination: Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) for a test-driving session. This will determine if you have learned important information about street signs. This period enables the official to assess your driving skills.
  • Acquire a certificate of proficiency in driving.
  • Apply for your driver’s license at any government ministry in your state.
  • Present the form to the BIR and VIO officials for verification.
  • Undergo a bio-metric capturing.
  • Get the license and hit the Nigerian roads once again in your car.
  1. Road Worthiness Certificate

You would not want to drive your vehicle on Nigerian roads without a roadworthiness certificate. This document is proof that a vehicle is road compatible.

Not intending to be harassed? Get one of these as part of the documents and you are good to go.

This endorsement is to demonstrate that your vehicle has passed every one of the criteria required to be on the road. To obtain this, an assessment would have been done on your vehicle by VIOs. Make certain to keep your vehicles fit as a fiddle so as to pass the assessment.

  1. Car Insurance

This is one of the fundamental documents required to drive a car in Nigeria. Police may sometimes request for this document for your financial safety. It wasn’t really part of documents Nigeria police should ask for.  Whether it’s third-party insurance or thorough, it is compulsory to have your vehicle insured before putting it to the road. This might be useful to avoid harassment from the various agencies that inspecting the road and drivers.

  1. Car Registration

The car registration report shows that a vehicle has been properly enlisted under Nigerian law. Therefore, it follows the various guidelines controlling this act. Not registering is a problem and not following the guidelines after registrations attract punishments.

How to Register a Car in Nigeria

Here is a quick rundown of car registration in Nigeria.

  • An attestation letter from the procurement organization.
  • Vehicle purchase receipt. If bought as used, you might be requested to present the previous seller receipt too. Read about the Documents to collect when buying a used car in Nigeria for more clarity.
  • Delivery note from the organization of procurement.
  • Proof of car ownership.
  • A Driver’s License.
  • ID card. It could your National Identity Card or International passport and any other listed alternative.
  • Proof of current location. Most states accept utility bills.
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Not ready for harassment? Then, here is one of the many car documents required by Nigerian police. Get one today and be free.

  1. Hackney Permit

This permit makes the list of the documents required to drive a car in Nigeria without harassment. A hackney permit is essentially a permit for cars underneath a specific weight class to convey goods inside a city. That is, a hackney permit in Nigeria really applies to commercial vehicle owners. It should come while you’re registering your car in Nigeria.

  1. Vehicle Proof of Ownership

Do you want the police to know that the car you are driving is yours? Unless you don’t want them to, but it’s very advisable to go around with one. This document is proof of ownership of a car in Nigeria and it will scale you through delays with road vehicle inspectors.

  1. Receipt of Number Plate

Did you know that the first thing a police check is the vehicle number plate in Nigeria? Now, you do and as such, its receipt should be very well available with you since it is part of the documents required to drive a car in Nigeria.

The cost of a new plate number in Nigeria differs by state. For a more correct price, head to the transport ministry for the price. Note that fancy number plates differ from normal plates. Keke also differs from that of a motorcycle in Nigeria.

  1. eCMR

Lots of Nigerian have been asking “what is eCMR in Nigeria?” Simply, this is a certificate that enables road agencies in Nigeria to know which vehicle is stolen and which is not. It contains broad information of your car and it’s very necessary to drive around with this. The Nigerian police were instructed not to check this particular document often. But for the sake of your harassment evasion, have one on you. The FRSC would definitely request for this.

  1. Lagos State Driver Institute Card

Here is one of the few documents required to drive a car in Nigeria, precisely Lagos. For the inhabitants of the city of excellence and commercial drivers, get confirmed by LASDRI. The same applies to company vehicle drivers and pick-up owners. This is for Lagos drivers and does not apply to other states. If you are new to the city and want to move around as a commercial driver, a company driver, etc. kindly visit the Lagos State Drivers Institute to get the LASDRI card.


Having these documents required to drive a car in Nigeria, you avoid becoming a victim of harassment on the road. Moreover, some of these car documents required by the Nigeria police need to be renewed. Do not worry about which should and which shouldn’t be renewed as they are all stated on the documents. Having seen the car documents Nigeria police should ask for, it doesn’t mean you should with the police.

Related: Latest Uber Car Requirements in Nigeria

After this, don’t go asking “what documents do police ask for when pulled over”. All your answers have been provided. Any other car document that becomes necessary, the list will be duly updated to keep car owners in Nigeria updated.

How to Drive a Car in Nigeria

Whether as a citizen or an expat in Nigeria, there are several necessary things to note about driving. This article highlights how to drive a car in Nigeria as well as the etiquette of driving in Nigeria.


How to drive a car in Nigeria

It is important to know these things because it spares you the trouble of negatively encountering road agencies. Moreover, some regions such as Lagos in Nigeria are quite busy and, thus, making driving very hectic.

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Honestly, drivers who adhere to the rules of driving a car in Nigeria are never messed with.

Note: You must be 18+ to drive in Nigeria.

How to Drive in Nigeria without Problems

This article on how to drive in Nigeria focuses on two subjects. First, it Identifies what expats must do to drive in Nigeria. Secondly, it highlights the acceptable etiquette of driving a car in Nigeria.

Let’s first consider how to drive a car in Nigeria before moving on to the driving guide for expats in Nigeria.

Ready for the rules of driving a car in Nigeria?

Etiquette of Driving in Nigeria

1. Your Car Must be Duly Registered

On no account shall you drive in Nigeria without properly registering the said vehicle. You do not only risk getting the car impounded but being sent to jail.

Here are the documents required to drive in Nigeria before thinking of how to drive a car in Nigeria.

2. Inspect Your Car thoroughly

It is advisable to inspect your car before putting it on the road. While inspecting, ensure that the fire extinguisher is there. The car may overheat when you least expect and this often results from technical faults, the weather as well as the nature of the environment. Nigeria is largely a hot place to be. Moreover, inspect the following:

  • The radiator.
  • Car documents. Confirm the documents to avoid getting harassed by the officials. Also, renew expired papers.
  • Inspect the spare tyre. This is necessary for long journey.

Note: It’s not recommended to store fuel and gas inside the car.

3. Ignite Engine for a While

It isn’t a good practice to start a car engine early in the morning and then zoom off just like that. A little ignition of the engine would settle things within the car.

4. Wear the Seatbelt


How to drive a car in Nigeria

If you’re an expat in Nigeria, here is a secret driving hack for you. This is one of the rules of driving a car in Nigeria that saves human life.

The road safety agency in Nigeria pays particular attention to drivers’ use of the seatbelt. However, this does not mean that these agencies only stop drivers with no seatbelt on.

5. Lookout for Road Signs and Traffic

Most at times, road signs are not visible in Nigeria which could be due to the poor maintenance culture.

Beating the traffic and getting caught attracts a fine and may well lead to serving a jail term. Be on the lookout and do not over-speed, especially on slow lanes.

6. Don’t Attempt to Outrun Road Agencies

Stop the car when you’re instructed to do so. Furthermore, do not bribe officials. If you’re caught in the process, you may suffer the same fate with the corrupt official.

7. Avoid Using Abusive Words


How to drive a car in Nigeria

It can be quite hurtful seeing fellow drivers drive inappropriately. You may be forced to use abusive languages, however, you should let go.

Also, do not argue with hoodlums in order not to have your car smashed.

8. Halt for Emergency Vehicles to Pass

Do not remain on the road while emergency vehicles are behind your car. Halt or steer out of the lane until it’s clear. It isn’t a good etiquette of Driving in Nigeria for you to inconvenience emergency vehicles. This is a necessary etiquette of driving in Nigeria that should not be neglected.

9. Be Watchful of the Car Behind You

Another principle of how to drive a car in Nigeria is watchfulness. When close to the destination, use both side mirrors and reverse mirror to watch what vehicle is behind.

10. Mind Where You Park Your Car

Before you park, study the position. Do not park on a particular lane if there is another car on the opposite lane.

Also, do not park at unusual places. It’s preferable to park where provisions are made for parking. This is a decent etiquette on how to drive a car in Nigeria.

11. Lock the Car Before Exiting

When you alight from the vehicle, note how things are arranged in the car

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Furthermore, do not leave tangible items visible in your car. Hoodlums sighting the item may break the windscreen to steal such items.

Things to Avoid While Driving in Nigeria

For safety, avoid the following while driving. You never know whether the driver of the car behind or in front is drunk. Include the following to your knowledge of how to drive a car in Nigeria. They are also part of the new EFCC road rules in Nigeria.

  • Do not Drink and Drive
  • No Phone Calls
  • No Smoking
  • Don’t Argue While Driving
  • Lower the Music Volume
  • Do not Switch Lanes Unnecessarily
  • Don’t Take Your Eyes off the Steering

What Expats Should Know About Driving in Nigeria

As an expat in Nigeria, the first thing to do is to figure out a means of transportation.

t could be purchasing, rent or hiring taxi services. However, i you’re renting or purchasing a car, then this guide on how to drive a car in Nigeria is for you.

Rules for driving a car in Nigeria

Unlike before, it isn’t crucial for expats to own cars in Nigeria. In fact, using hired services like Bolt and OPay make movement rather easier. You may use that chance to question the driver and learn a couple of things about Nigeria.

Concerning what drivers license you’ll use as an expat, you’re free to use a valid national drivers license or an international drivers license. However, these sorts of licenses would only be valid for a particular time in Nigeria.

The Documents to Carry Along

Failing to have complete papers may result in fine or harassment. Take note of the documents for driving a car in Nigeria.

Getting Your Car

You may either import a car or purchase a car within Nigeria. Meanwhile, to clear a car in Nigeria can be quite hectic. You should see how to clear an imported car in Nigeria. Moreover, you may pay agents to do the clearance but it’s still worth knowing how it is done. Do prepare between N600,000 to N900,000 for a complete clearance process.

What Distance Should You Maintain from Car in Front

For every 10 mph, you should maintain a distance that is equal to the distance of the car in front. Moreover, you may use the ‘two-seconds’ rule which states that your car should be 2 seconds behind the car in front. This is a rule all o er the world and it equally applies in Nigeria.

Cost of Driving School in Nigeria

Concerning how to drive a car in Nigeria, driving school matters. The cost of driving school in Nigeria varies. The cost code driving school in Lagos and the cost of driving school in Abuja differs by the driving school in question.

What are the Documents Required to Drive a Car in Nigeria? 1

Generally, the cost of driving school in Nigeria costs between N25,000 and N60,000. These prices might increase depending on the extra courses you take with the driving school.

Can I Drive in Nigeria with US License

Can I drive in Nigeria with US License? Can I drive in Nigeria with UK license? Is an international driver’s license accepted in Nigeria?

Well, if we keep listing the questions of this nature, you’ll get bored as an expat.

Yes, you can drive in Nigeria with a non-Nigerian driving license. If you have a valid driving license from your country, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) will permit you but for just 3 months.

If it’s an international drivers license, it will be accepted and it will be valid for 12 months.

While using a non-Nigerian driving license, you should equally apply for a Driver’s license in Nigeria. The process can be completed within a few hours of the same day.

Meanwhile, here are the recommended centers for drivers license application in Nigeria.

Take Away

Before you depart, check the new road safety rules in nigeria.

In this article, we have highlighted how to drive in Nigeria. Moreover, this article covered the rules of driving a car in Nigeria.

Take the etiquette for driving in Nigeria seriously as it helps drivers or of harm’s lane.