Have a Driving Licence Issued Abroad?

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You can take part in that and enjoy driving on the UAE roads if you have a UAE driving licence and a few other documents. 

This is true even if you have a driving licence that was issued in another country, as you can easily convert it and legally drive in the UAE. In this article, we will explore the process involved in the conversion of driving licence, the things to keep in mind for the same, and more.

Driving Licence in the UAE – An Overview

As a UAE citizen, you can apply for a driving licence at the age of 18 years. If you are a citizen of another country and have a licence issued there, your passport will affect how easily you can get a driving licence in the UAE.

If you have a driving licence from any of the following countries, you can easily opt for licence exchange and have it converted to a UAE licence. Keep in mind that you must be a citizen of the country from where you got your passport made. 

These countries include – 




United Kingdom







Saudi Arabia


Hong Kong




South Africa


New Zealand






South Korea










Note: If you have a licence from Singapore, you may have to get it translated into Arabic or English and clear the knowledge test. 

If you do not have a passport from the above-mentioned countries, you would be required to apply fresh for a driving licence in the UAE.

Driving with a Foreign Driving Licence in the UAE

As mentioned earlier, you must have a valid UAE driving licence to drive a car in the emirates. However, a few exceptions may apply. For instance, if you have a driving licence from the United States, you can drive in the UAE. 

It must be noted that you can also drive in the UAE if you have a valid international driving licence. 

Where to Exchange Your Driving Licence in the UAE?

As we saw before, if you are from any of the eligible countries in the list in the earlier section, you can initiate the process of getting a UAE driving licence. Depending on your requirements and convenience, you can apply for the exchange of licence by using the official RTA website or visiting one of the Customer Happiness Centres.

Documents Required for a Driving Licence in the UAE

You can keep the following standard documents ready when you initiate the process to exchange your driving licence in the UAE – 

  • Your original driving licence 
  • Your Emirates ID 
  • A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor (if applicable) 
  • Passport-size photographs 

As mentioned earlier, if you have a licence from countries like Singapore, you would be required to present an Arabic or English translation of your licence.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Driving Licence in the UAE?

If you have all the documents listed above, you can complete the process within 5 minutes or so and get an exchanged licence soon. You can set aside a budget of around AED 1000 for the process, which includes the fee for the eye test, licence issuing, and more. 

Steps to Get a Driving Licence in the UAE

Here’s how you can get your driving licence exchanged in the UAE from the official RTA website – 

Step-1 Visit the RTA Website 

  • Visit the official Road and Transport Authority website and find the relevant option 
  • Select the country from where you have your driving licence 
  • Upload a copy of your licence and other specified documents
  • Follow the prompted steps and proceed to apply 

Step-2 Get Your Eye Test Result

Each individual applying for a driving licence in the UAE has to undergo an electronic eye test. You can get this eye test done at any of the RTA-approved centres for the same. 

Step-3 Visit a Customer Happiness Centre 

Once you get the eye test done, you can visit any of the RTA-approved Customer Happiness Centres in the UAE. Take your original driving licence, the eye test report, and any other specified documents there and submit them. The concerned officials will check your papers and provide you with a driving licence that would be valid in the UAE if approved. 

Getting a New Driving Licence in the UAE

If you are from a country whose driving licence cannot be exchanged in the UAE, you would have to apply for a fresh licence in the country. For this, you would be required to open a traffic file at one of the registered driving centres. This process would require documents such as your passport, Emirates ID, No-Objection Certificate from your sponsor, and passport-size photographs. 

You would require an electronic eye test report from an authorised centre and would need to take the required driving classes at a driving centre. After that, you would have to clear the theoretical and practical tests to get a driving licence.

Buying a Car in the UAE

If you plan to be in the UAE for a considerable time, you can rent or even buy a car in the emirates. For those interested in the latter option, numerous dealers can be found which sell new as well as second-hand cars in the UAE. 

To buy a car without depleting your savings, you can easily get a car loan in UAE on policybazaar.ae. On the website of Policybazaar UAE, you can find the best car loans from the leading banks and financial institutions across the country. You can easily compare the plans (available at the best rates) in one place and select one for the financing as per your requirements. Moreover, if you face any issues during the application process, you can contact the customer care team at any point of the day. 

To Conclude

If you plan to stay in the UAE for a long time and want to maintain your mobility in the country, you can easily do so with a valid UAE driving licence. While licences of some countries can be easily exchanged to get a UAE driving licence, others may require you to apply for a new one from the scratch. 

The process of exchanging a licence is fairly easy, as you can perform it online and get the licence printed at a Customer Happiness Centre. To avoid any hassles regarding the same, make sure to check all the requirements carefully and keep the required documents ready. 

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