Iranian Court Says Women Can Get Motorcycle Licenses

Iranian Traffic Police have challenged a recent ruling by Branch 31 of the country’s Administrative Court, which allows women to get motorcycle licenses, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) has reported.

“No legal obstacles prevent a woman from operating standard and special vehicles [cars and trucks] and motorcycles,” the court said. “Article 20 of the Traffic Violation Law which requires men to get their motorcycle licenses from the police does not prohibit the traffic police from issuing motorcycle licenses to women.”

The court’s decision followed a complaint by a woman against traffic police in the city of Isfahan, capital of the central province of Isfahan, which had refused to issue her a motorcycle license. The Iranian Traffic Police, however, disagreed with the court’s decision.

“Article 20 of the Traffic Law, which was ratified in 2009, requires men to get their motorcycle licenses from the Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” a statement by the Iranian Traffic Police said. “According to Article 60 of Iran’s Administrative Court, the ruling by Branch 31 applies only to the specific case in Isfahan and does not change the current law.”

[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” credit=”FILE PHOTO: Baran Hadizadeh, a female biker wears her motorcycle helmet in Tehran, Iran August 7, 2019. REUTERS./” align=”center” lightbox=”off” captionsrc=”custom” captionposition=”center” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

Mohsen Ghaemi, the director of Iran’s Administrative Court, was quick to point out: “The preliminary ruling by Branch 31 of the Administrative Court is non-binding. The Law Enforcement Forces have challenged the decision. The case is going through the appeal process.”

Many politicians have supported the court’s decision, including Mohammad Kazemi, the deputy chairman of the Judicial and Legal Committee of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), who said: “Women riding bicycles and motorcycles do not violate any religious laws. The ruling by the Administrative Court is legal and correct. The Iranian Traffic Police cannot challenge the decision of the appeal court if it upholds the Administrative Court’s ruling.”


Also, the Women’s Faction of the Majlis (a cross-factional all-female parliamentary group) has invited the Law Enforcement Forces to attend a parliamentary meeting to discuss the issue.

Footage posted on social media shows a traffic police officer stopping two women motorcyclists from riding their bikes. The officer explains to them that Iran does not recognize their valid international motorcycle licenses, because the law prohibits women from riding motorcycles in city streets.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]