Image Credit: Tobias Scheck on Flickr

If you have recently moved or expanded your business to Dubai, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to obtain a driving license and car insurance. That’s because, first and foremost, you’ll need a license in order to legally drive a car.

However, the rules and regulations pertaining to getting a driving license can be confusing. What’s more, the process varies from one emirate to another. Moreover, you can’t buy car insurance until you have a valid UAE driving license.

You’ll need the essentials to begin with. For example, you’ll need your existing driving license as well as proof of citizenship in your home country. Additionally, your driving skills will affect your car insurance premiums. As an insider tip, try Policybazaar for car insurance in the UAE for affordable and reliable insurance quotes.

Based on your situation, you can decide what you should do next. For example:


Scenario 1: No Valid Driving License

If you are a beginner, start by registering yourself with any of the best driving schools in Dubai. Then, try to attend at least 40 classes.

Once you pass the school’s driving tests, you need to pass the final test by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

If you pass on your first attempt, this will cost you about 5,500 dirhams.

Required Documents

  • Copy of your passport
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Valid emirates ID (original and copy)
  • Eye test results
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor (if required)

If you have a valid driving license, then the country from which your driving license was issued and your citizenship will determine if your existing license can be ported into a UAE license or not.




Scenario 2: Transferred Licenses

The RTA has listed 31 countries from which citizens can transfer their driving licenses:

  1. Australia
  2. Bahrain
  3. Austria
  4. Canada
  5. Belgium
  6. Denmark
  7. France
  8. Finland
  9. Greece
  10. Germany
  11. Ireland
  12. Japan
  13. Italy
  14. South Korea
  15. Netherlands
  16. Kuwait
  17. Norway
  18. New Zealand
  19. Poland
  20. Oman
  21. Qatar
  22. Portugal
  23. Saudi Arabia
  24. Romania
  25. Spain
  26. South Africa
  27. Switzerland
  28. Sweden
  29. United Kingdom
  30. Turkey
  31. United States of America

However, some licenses require translation into Arabic/English before the transfer.

If you have citizenship and a driving license from one of the above-mentioned countries, the process will be quite simple for you.

For instance, if you are a citizen of the USA and hold a valid driving license, you can directly go to the Roads and Transport Authority and get your UAE driving license the same day, provided that all your documents are submitted on time.

Required Documents

  • Passport (original and copy)
  • Driving license (original and copy)
  • Passport photos
  • Copy of your residence visa
  • Translation or embassy letter (if required)
  • Eye test certificate from any of the test centers approved by the Dubai Health Authority
  • NOC from your sponsor (if required)

Contact the RTA call center at 8009090 to see if you’ll need any other documents.



If You Hold a Valid License but You Are a Citizen of a Country That’s Not on the List

What if you do not have citizenship in any of the above-listed countries but hold a valid driving license from a country on the list? First, you need to enroll in a driving school and then register for the driving test procedures by RTA. To schedule your appointment directly, you need to carry all the documents with you

To cite an example, Indian citizens with a valid driving license issued in Qatar will need to register with a driving school in Dubai for license procedures.

What If You Fail?

If you fail the test, you need to reattempt and attend at least 8 more driving classes.

How Much Will It Cost?

Including the driving school fees and the RTA fees, it will cost you around 2,000 dirhams. This may vary, however, from one institute to another.

Required Documents

  • Emirates ID (original and copy)
  • Original driving license along with a copy
  • Passport copy with visa page
  • NOC from your sponsor, depending on your case
  • A minimum of 8 passport-size photos
  • Eye test results (Some driving schools can arrange for this.)


Licenses from Countries Not Included on the RTA List

  1. If your driving license is from a country that is not mentioned above, then is not possible to transfer it to the UAE driving license. And this means that you will also not get car insurance in Dubai.
  2. If your current home country license is valid more than five years, however, then you can apply for the UAE license. But for that, you need to complete at least 20 driving classes before you take your driving test.
  3. The number of driving classes you need to take depends on the validity of your driving license.
  4. If your driving is valid for 2 to 5 years, then the number of classes required is 30. If it is valid for less than 2 years then you need to take at least 40 classes. The fees vary as per the validity of your license and the driving institute.
  5. Required documents will be same as above.


Summing It Up

If you are working in Dubai, then the above guide will be helpful to you. However, the process can be confusing for anyone. All the same, if you know how to go about it, then you can easily get your driving license transferred and enjoy driving on the roads of Dubai.