Driving licence is a prerequisite to driving anywhere in the world. In addition to being an important identification document, your driving license in the UAE comes in handy when you apply for jobs and many other things. In short, getting a driving license in the UAE should be one of the first things you need to do when you relocate here as a resident. Since there are several small and big things involved in getting your driving license, here is a comprehensive guide to help you through the UAE driving license procedure.
Any UAE resident, citizen or even tourist can drive in the UAE. If you are older than 18 years of age and hold a valid driving permit or a license, you can drive in the UAE. Tourists only need an international driving permit, while UAE residents and nationals must have a UAE-certified driving license. Driving licenses from a few countries can be exchanged for a UAE driving license without having to take a driving test. Motorbike licenses require you to be at least 17 years old. Basically, as long as you meet the generic legal and age-specific requirements, you can drive anywhere in the UAE.
Driving license in the UAE can be segregated as per the types of vehicles available. For example, you will need a separate license if you want to drive both light motor vehicles and a forklift. Given below is the complete list of different types of driving licenses in the UAE:
As specified before, any UAE citizen or resident older than 18 years can easily get a driving license. You first receive a probationary license, which is later converted into a permanent one when you turn 21. However, the eligibility criteria for getting a license can change as per the type of license you are looking to get. Given below are the exact specifications:
Driving licenses in the UAE can only be applied by the driving school you register at. This is applicable if you are seeking a UAE driving license from scratch. All the applications are submitted in Arabic by the driving schools. Upon completion of your driving course, you get a probationary license if you are younger than 21 years of age and older than 18 years. Probationary licenses are renewed every year, while your basic UAE driving license is valid for either 5 or 10 years. Given below is the complete UAE driving license procedure to get a driving license in the UAE:
No matter what kind of driving license you require, taking driving tests is going to be a huge part of the UAE driving license procedure. UAE driving tests are divided into three basic parts – the theoretical test, internal practical assessment and the final road and highway test. The theoretical test and the internal practical test are conducted by driving schools in the UAE for their students. Theoretical test contains 35 questions and a few video questions, while the practical test is about generic driving and parking skills. When you clear both these tests, you become eligible to take the road and highway tests conducted by the RTA and other similar organisations that handle driving license requests in the UAE.
Once you have cleared the internal assessments, you are free to get a date assigned by the authorities for your final test. The test is conducted with an examiner in a car allotted by the authorities. Your overall performance as a driver is tested here. If you pass the test, the examiner hands over the approval papers right there and then. You simply need to take the papers to the assigned counter, have your picture taken and get the license.
If you fail the test, you will need to take 7 supplementary classes before you can get another date to take the test. The test procedure will be followed once you get another date assigned for the final test. If you fail the final test multiple times in a row, you will have to take the internal assessments again and then the final driving test by the road and transport authority (RTA).
Just like you need an international driving license to drive in the UAE if you are a tourist, you will need a similar license to drive in other countries as a tourist or visitor. In addition to offering you freedom to drive overseas, an international driving license also serves as a great identification document. International driving permit in the UAE, unlike a national driving license, can be obtained using both online and offline methods.
The complete process of getting an international driving license in the UAE is far easier as compared to the process of obtaining a national driving license. All you need to do is fill out the application form available on several online platforms, upload the documents and submit the form. Given below is the complete process for the same:
Go to the official website of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE aka ATCUAE or visit the website/mobile application of the Ministry of Interior (MOI).
Proceed to the international driving license application portal on either of these applications and get the application form.
Documents required for the online application of an international driving permit in Dubai are:
In contrast to most other things, the offline process to apply for an international driving license in the UAE is quite simple, simpler than even the online process. In addition to that, the number of places where you can apply for an international license offline is far greater in comparison to the online options. You can choose to go and submit your application at the branch of any of these entities in the UAE:
As far as the application process is concerned, visit any of the aforementioned offices to submit your international driving license application. The application forms are available at the branches. Get one, fill it out and attach it with all the required documents. Submit the form and the documents along with the international driving license fee in the UAE. The fee here would be AED 170 + VAT. Unlike the online UAE driving license procedure, your documents will be reviewed and analysed immediately. Once processed, you will receive your international driving permit on the spot. The whole procedure, from application submission to getting the license, will hardly take an hour or so. The documents required here are the same as in the online process.
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Driving license in the UAE is much more than just an identification document or proof of your driving skills and training. It comes in handy quite often and for many things too. Losing or misplacing your driving license in such conditions can be quite problematic. Luckily, you can easily obtain a duplicate driving license in the UAE without much work. The procedure for getting a duplicate license will differ as per your emirate. Following is the complete UAE driving license procedure for a duplicate license as per the emirates.
Renewing your driving license in the UAE is quite easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. The place where you renew your driving licence can differ as per the emirate you are staying in. Dubai driving licenses are renewed at RTA branches or on the website. Driving license for Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates are renewed on the Ministry of Interior website. The fee for renewing your driving license in the UAE is AED 120 for drivers younger than 21 years of age and AED 320 for older ones, which is the same for all the emirates. Given below is the complete process of renewing your driving license in the UAE:
You can get your original driving license converted into a UAE driving license if you are from one of the countries included in the list of exempted countries. The process of converting or exchanging your driving license is quite simple. The complete process may take a few weeks before your license finally arrives. Given below are the details:
Ans: The cost of your driving license in the UAE can differ depending on the emirate you reside in. Getting a driving license in Dubai can cost you up to AED 7000, while the average cost of getting a driving license in Abu Dhabi is AED 2300. The major part of your driving license fee goes into the driving classes you take. This is why you can even score a discount on driving packages in the UAE.
Ans: Yes, foreigners can easily obtain a driving license in the UAE if they have a resident visa. If you are a foreigner in the UAE on a tourist or visitor visa, you will need an international driving license to drive in the UAE. This will be made in your home country itself.
Ans: Also known as the exempted countries, there are a few countries around the world that have the same driving rules as the UAE. People from these countries can simply exchange their old driving license for a new UAE driving license. Given below is the list:
Ans: No, you will need an international driving permit to drive in India. The national UAE car license will not be sufficient for that.
Ans: Driving itself is not very difficult in the UAE. Traffic regulations and rules are pretty stern in the UAE. You may have to learn the new rules as well as new lanes if your country has the left-hand side driving lane rules.
Ans: Yes, you can freely drive a borrowed or rented car in the UAE as long as you have a proper driving license. Both the national driving license of the UAE and an international driving permit are valid documents for driving in the UAE, depending on your visa type.
Ans: An international driving license or permit is the license document that tourists require to drive in the UAE.
Ans: Yes, you can find plenty of driving institutes in all emirates. Most driving institutes have multiple branches all across the UAE, which means you will have enough options to choose from.
Ans: Expect to spend AED 800 to AED 1000 when you are aiming to have your license exchanged. This fee will include fee for opening driving file, fee for the issuance of license, fee for the driving handbook and knowledge and innovation fee.
Ans: Yes, the Saudi driving license is valid in the UAE and can be exchanged for a UAE driving license without giving a driving test.
Ans: Yes, different types of license are available for different kinds of vehicles in the UAE. You have to get a different license for every kind of vehicle you need to drive.
Ans: Yes, the Indian international driving license is valid in the UAE for people present in the country with a visitor visa.
Ans: No, anyone with a resident visa in the UAE must get a UAE car license to drive. The UAE international driving license is only valid for visitors.
Ans: UAE international driving license is valid in Canada if you are going on a visitor visa. If you plan to move to Canada, you must get a Canadian driving license to drive there.