RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — It’s only for women over 30, who must be off the road by 8 p.m. and cannot wear makeup behind the wheel. But it’s still a startling idea.

The Saudi king’s advisory council – whose suggestions are not binding – has recommended that the government lift its ban on female drivers, a member of the council said Friday. Local media subsequently quoted an official denying the report.

There have been years of campaigning against the kingdom’s staunch rejection of any review of the ban. Though they are not obligatory on the government, simply making such a recommendation would be a major step after years of the kingdom staunchly rejecting any review of the ban.

There have been small but increasingly bold protests by women who took to their cars over the past year. The driving ban, which is unique in the world, is imposed because the kingdom’s ultraconservative Muslim clerics say “licentiousness” will spread if women drive.

The council member said the Shura Council made the recommendations in a secret, closed session held in the past month. But Shura Council spokesman Mohammed al-Muhanna told Al-Riyadh newspaper that reports about “the approval of the council of women driving” are not true.

There was no mention of the recommendation by the Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom’s official state news agency. Al-Muhanna could not be reached directly, and other officials declined to comment publicly.

Under the recommendations outlined by the council member, only women over 30 would be allowed to drive and they would need permission from a male relative – usually a husband or father, but lacking those, a brother or son. They would be allowed to drive from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. It wasn’t immediately clear why the restrictions would be different Thursday and Friday, as the Saudi weekend was changed by royal decree in 2013 to Friday and Saturday.

Similar provisions have been floated as far back as 2008 as conditions for allowing women to eventually drive. It seems that the recommendations outlined by the council member were building off the earlier studies, now with the additional contributions from women members in the council, appointed by the king last year.