How to Transfer Your Car Ownership and Registration in the UAE

  | Published: 21 April 2018 | Last Updated On: 19 October 2021

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Buying or selling a used car has its work cut out for several kinds of paperwork in the picture. You will have to transfer vehicle ownership to the new owner by completing the vehicle registration transfer as well as the Car insurance transfer of the vehicle. However, the most important part of the car ownership transfer remains to be the vehicle registration transfer itself. If you are planning to buy a used car or sell your second-hand car and don’t know the process to transfer vehicle ownership, then here’s a useful guide that can help you transfer your car registration seamlessly.

Car Ownership Transfer – Steps to Follow

There are few steps involved in the process of vehicle ownership transfer in Dubai and UAE. Most of these steps include the clearance of any prevailing fines and dues against the vehicle, along with obtaining required certificates and documents. Each of these steps is extremely important, so make sure you note them carefully. Following are the steps you need to follow when initiating a vehicle ownership transfer in UAE:

1. Clear All Your Salik or Traffic Fines

Did you know that any pending fines can hinder your vehicle registration transfer procedure? There shouldn’t be any fines associated with your car plate number. This is why you must clear all the unpaid dues before even planning to sell your car. So, if you haven’t done it yet, get them cleared at any police station nearby. You can easily clear your fines online as well.

2. Bank Clearance Documents

If the previous owner took a car loan, then it should be cleared by them before they initiate a vehicle registration transfer. After the loan has been cleared, a final payment certificate proof must be generated for the vehicle ownership transfer. If the new owner has agreed to have the loan transferred to them instead, the current owner must obtain a release letter or, a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the bank to transfer the loan to the buyer. So, no matter if you are a buyer or a seller, check if you require NOC from the bank.

3. Have the Car Tested

You will need to get a pass report once your car is tested at the registration centre. It is not a time-consuming process and it costs only 150 Dirhams in Dubai. Also, remove and hand over the number plate of your car at the registration counter if a new number for the car is wanted. Make sure that you choose one of the approved test centres for the damage test of the car.

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Documentation and Paper Works

To avoid yourself running from one registration center to another, ensure that you have all the required documents with you when you set out to transfer vehicle ownership.

Documents required by the seller of the car

  • Emirates ID of the Seller
  • Mulkiya or car registration card of the vehicle
  • Driver’s License
  • Original passport (in case a car loan is involved)
  • Resident Visa (in case a car loan is involved)
  • The final loan payment documented proof from the bank
  • A NOC certificate if the loan is to be transferred to the new owner

Documents required by the new buyer

  • Emirates ID (original and a copy)
  • Driver’s License (original and a copy)
  • Passport and Resident’s Visa (original and a copy)
  • For Diplomates - Diplomat Card and a Letter of Approval from Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Additional Documents

  • The technical and damage inspection certificate of the car from a verified center
  • Police report if the number plate of the car has been stolen or lost
  • Insurance papers of the car

New Registration

Once the vehicle registration transfer is done, the buyer will get the new number plate and new registration card for the car. The cost of vehicle ownership transfer is AED 350, and the new number plate between is AED 35 to AED 500, depending on the size and type of the plate. Small car number plates can be obtained for AED 35, long for AED 50, Dubai branded car plates for AED 200 and luxury car plates for AED 500. You will receive the following documents after a successful car ownership transfer in UAE:

  • The new registration card and documents
  • Expiration sticker for the current registration (to be pasted on the rear number plate of the car)
  • New car plate
  • Vehicle ownership certificate

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In Case the Seller and the Buyer Belong to the Different Emirates

If you and the new buyer/old owner of the car belong to different Emirates, the procedure of car ownership transfer may vary. As you already know, there are two traffic systems that are followed in our country- the Federal system and the independent system. The Federal system is followed by all the emirates in the UAE, whereas in Dubai, the independent system is followed.

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Transferring Car Ownership from One Emirate to Another

The process of vehicle ownership transfer from one emirate to another is basically the same but with a few additional steps involved:

  • If the vehicle is registered with Dubai (or any other emirate) and the ownership needs to be transferred to another emirate, let’s say Abu Dhabi, it has to be un-registered from Dubai first.
  • Before un-registration of the vehicle, all the fines must be paid along with any outstanding loan. Or the current owner must obtain NOC for transfer of the loan from the bank.
  • After the removal of the vehicle from the records of Dubai, it will be marked for ‘export’.
  • You will get the vehicle transferred in a towing truck from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (or any other two emirates) as you cannot drive an unregistered vehicle.
  • Once the vehicle has reached your emirate, you can have it registered there.
  • Buy a new insurance policy for the car registered in your emirate now, and the vehicle registration transfer process will be complete.

Point to Remember

  • When a car ownership transfer in UAE takes place, both the new and the current owner must be present physically for the procedure.
  • If either of the two owners is not able to be there, they can send a legal representative with an issued power of attorney in their names.
  • If you are transporting the car from Dubai to another emirate, it will need to be carried by a recovery truck. You are not allowed to drive the car unless you have the number plates.
  • Dubai RTA does not provide number plates for cars that are being exported within the UAE.  However, the transportation cost should not be more than AED500 between two bordering emirates.
  • All the services have to present in the application of the change of ownership, including registration, vehicle transfer, export, etc.


So, the next time you plan to sell your car or buy a second-hand vehicle in the UAE, make sure that you take care of the above-mentioned pointers for a safe deal. Strategic planning can never go amiss; in fact, it only helps in making the process seamless and hassle-free.