Yes; it is true. In Saudi Arabia women are prohibited by law from driving. However, that does not mean a Saudi woman can’t obtain an international driving license or drive when she is outside of the Kingdom.
It’s not as if women haven’t attempted to drive in the Kingdom in spite of the law. The first group of women who attempted to change the law was back in 1991. At that time American troops (to include female soldiers) were posted in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi people witnessed female soldiers in their uniform and in some cases in their official vehicles. As a result a group of courageous women from Riyadh decided to test the waters and take to the streets. Sadly, the timing was not right and the women as well as their families faced consequences.
Saudi female activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider was next in the forefront on seeking the right for women to drive in the Kingdom. She made a video of herself speaking of human rights while driving a car within the Kingdom.
Most recently in May 2011, it was Manal Al Sherif, a Saudi mother, who initiated a Kingdom wide campaign encouraging women to have videos made while driving in the Kingdom. She was arrested (and subsequently released) for her efforts.
Therefore it should not be surprising that Saudi women may specifically seek out driving schools when they are outside of the Kingdom. They wish to learn how to operate a vehicle and obtain an international drivers license. Many of these women believe that in time they will have the right to drive within the Kingdom.
A driving school in the state of Arkansas received a query from the Saudi Students Association at the University of Arkansas. The query was an expression of interest from 20 Saudi female students who wished to receivie driving lessons. Due to the nationality of the students and the number of students seeking lessons the driving school considered the request a security threat. Thankfully the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management did not view the query as a threat and in fact endorsed that all people should get driving lessons.