Dubai Driving License: How to Get and What You Need to Know
Dubai is a city of great opportunity and excitement, offering a world of diverse experiences for both visitors and residents alike. One of the essential aspects of living in this vibrant metropolis is having the freedom to navigate its roads with a Dubai driving license. Residents of UAE who wish to drive in Dubai can obtain a driving license by fulfilling the necessary terms and conditions. In case you possess a driving license issued by your home country, it may be possible to transfer it to a UAE driving license, provided it meets the approved terms and conditions for driving license transfer in the UAE.
In Dubai, individuals who are 18 years old or older are eligible to apply for a driving license, while those between the ages of 18 and 21 may be granted a probationary license. To initiate the application process, the applicant must submit an application in Arabic to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which can be facilitated by one of the authorized driving schools in Dubai. Upon submitting the application, the RTA will issue a temporary license, which must be carried during the driving training.
Driving is a valuable skill that can open up opportunities regardless of one’s location, but obtaining a driving license can be challenging for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will guide you through the process of obtaining your Dubai driving license, from the necessary procedures and tests to fees and driving license centers. We’ll also discuss how to convert an international license, so you can enjoy the convenience of driving in Dubai no matter where you’re from.
Here’s a guide on how to get a Dubai Driving License:
Step 1: Obtain a residency visa: Get your residence visa done through your employer or sponsor.
Step 2: Register in a driving school & Choose your training package: Enroll at an RTA-approved driving school in Dubai such as Emirates Driving Institute, Belhasa Driving Centre, Galadari Motor Driving Centre, and Dubai Driving Centre and submit all relevant documents.These schools offer various packages that include practical and theory lessons, as well as the final road test. Each center offers various packages to suit your needs – whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced driver looking for a license conversion. Prices vary depending on the package and the school you choose, but they generally start around AED 4,000 – 5,000.
Step 3: Complete an eye test : This can be done at any optical shop in the UAE registered with the RTA. The eye test is a simple process that checks your vision to ensure that you are able to drive safely. The cost of the eye test is around AED 100 – 150.
Step 4: Attend theory lessons: Attend the theory lessons which cover the rules and regulations of the road, as well as the meaning of road signs and other important information. The number of theory lessons required varies based on the driving school and your prior driving experience.
Step 5: Take the theory test: Once you have completed your theory lessons, you must take a theory test. The test consists of 35 multiple-choice questions and you must score at least 26 correct answers to pass. The test is conducted on a computer and can be taken in several languages, including English, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, and Malayalam. The test will cost you around AED 200 – 300.
Step 6: Attend practical lessons: After passing the theory test, you must attend practical lessons. These lessons are designed to help you develop your driving skills and prepare you for the final road test. The number of practical lessons required varies based on the driving school and your prior driving experience.
Step 7: Internal Assessment: After completing the practical classes go for your internal assessment.
Step 8: Highway and city road classes: Upon completing the internal assessment, you must complete highway and city road classes.
Step 9: Internal Parking Test : Pass the internal parking test so that the school can apply for the RTA test.
Step 10: Take the final road test: Once you have completed your practical lessons, you are ready to take the final road test. Your examiner will evaluate your driving skills during a 15-20 minute road test. It’s natural to be nervous, but remember, you’ve prepared for this moment. The test consists of a practical driving exam where you will be evaluated on your ability to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. You must pass the road test to obtain your driver’s licence. The test fee is around AED 400 – 500.
Step 11: Receive your driver’s licence: Congratulations! Once you’ve passed the practical test, you’ll receive your new Dubai driving license. The driver’s license is valid for two years and can be renewed after that period and 10 years for UAE nationals.
Driving License Centers in Dubai:
Some of the reputable driving license centers in Dubai include:
- Al Ahli Driving Centre
- Belhasa Driving Centre
- Dubai Driving Centre
- Dubai International Driving Centre (Drive Dubai)
- Galadari Motor Driving Centre
- Emirates Driving Institute
- Emirates Transport Driving Institute
- Excellence Driving Centre
- Bin Yaber Driving Centre
- Eco-Drive Driving Institute
Documents Required for Dubai Driving License:
For Emiratis, a valid Emirates ID is the only requirement to apply for a Dubai driving course. However, expats in Dubai are subject to different requirements, which include submitting:
- A copy and original of your Emirates ID
- A copy of your passport with visa page
- A minimum of four passport-sized photos
- Results of your eye test
- A no-objection letter from your sponsor (if requested by the relevant department)
Tests Conducted for Dubai Driving License:
- Theory Test
- Internal Tests Yard Parking, Parking
- RTA Test
The theory test is conducted at one of the authorized driving schools, typically the one where you are registered. On the day of the exam, you should bring your valid Emirates ID, driving file, two passport-sized photographs, and the theory test fee.
The test consists of 35 questions that assess your understanding of road/driving hazards, signals and signs, and safe driving practices. There are three segments to the test:
- The first segment includes 17 questions related to various traffic situations. You must answer at least 11 questions correctly to pass this segment.
- The second segment comprises 18 questions that focus on driving license specifics. You need to answer 12 of these questions correctly to qualify for the final road test.
- The third segment, called the Risks Recognition Test, presents a series of videos depicting different driving environments. The questions in this segment focus on your approach to these conditions and their associated risks.
The test is conducted on a touch-screen computer in English, Urdu, or Arabic. Candidates who are not proficient in these languages can request an oral exam.
The parking test in Dubai is fully automated and takes place at the smart yard of your driving institute. There are five steps in the parking test, which include:
- Slope/hill parking
- Emergency brakes
- Angle parking (60 degrees)
- Garage parking (90 degrees)
- Parallel parking
If you fail the parking test five times in a row, you will need to retake the internal assessment.
The road test is the final and most challenging step in obtaining your driving licence in Dubai, as it requires you to prove to the examiner that you are a competent driver in just 10 to 12 minutes. On the day of your road test, make sure to bring your Emirates ID, driving file, two passport-sized photographs, and the road test fee to the RTA driving licence centre in Dubai.
During the test, follow the RTA examiner and other candidates to the designated car, and demonstrate your overall driving skills with confidence. You will receive your test results immediately. If you fail, you will need to complete seven additional classes before scheduling a new test date. If you pass, the examiner will give you an approval paper, which you must submit along with your ID documentation and driving licence fee at the Pass Counter.
Next, submit your driving file to the Control Counter and pay the licence fee before proceeding to the photo area. After your photo is taken, you will only need to wait a few minutes to receive your hard-earned Dubai driving licence.
Once you have obtained your Dubai driving licence, you can apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) through the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE). The ATCUAE is responsible for processing and issuing IDPs, which are valid for one year from the date of issue. The required documents for an IDP application include your original driving licence, two passport-sized photographs, a copy of your passport and visa page, and the IDP fee. It is important to note that you cannot apply for an IDP before obtaining a valid Dubai driving licence.
These are great tips for passing the RTA theory and road tests! Here are a few additional tips that may help:
For the RTA theory test:
- Take notes as you read the RTA handbook, especially for important facts and figures.
- Use flashcards or other study aids to help you memorize road signs and traffic rules.
- Try to understand the reasoning behind the rules and guidelines, rather than just memorizing them.
- Take breaks when studying to avoid burnout and retain information better.
For the RTA road test:
- Practice, practice, practice! The more you drive, the more comfortable and confident you will feel behind the wheel.
- Take a few driving lessons with a professional instructor to get feedback and tips on your driving skills.
- Get a good night’s sleep before the test to be well-rested and alert.
- Stay calm and focused during the test, even if you make a mistake. Keep your eyes on the road and follow the examiner’s instructions.
- Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate potential hazards, such as pedestrians or other drivers who may not follow the rules.
- Don’t rush through the test. Take your time and drive safely and confidently.
You can find a list of RTA-approved driving institutes in Dubai on the official website of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai. Here are the steps to find the list:
- Visit the RTA Dubai website at www.rta.ae
- Click on the “Licensing” tab on the top menu and select “Driving Institutes” from the dropdown list.
- On the “Driving Institutes” page, you will find a list of all the RTA-approved driving institutes in Dubai, along with their contact information and location.
Alternatively, you can also search for RTA-approved driving institutes on Google or other search engines. However, it is important to ensure that the driving institute is approved by the RTA to ensure that you receive proper training and certification.
Fees for the Driving License Process in Dubai:
The fees for getting a Dubai driving license can vary depending on the driving school and the number of required lessons. In general, you can expect to pay between AED 5,000 and AED 7,000 for the entire process, including registration, lessons, tests, and the actual license.
Things to Know Before Getting Your Dubai Driving License:
- You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a driving license in Dubai.
- You need a valid UAE residence visa to apply for a driving license.
- Familiarize yourself with Dubai’s traffic rules and regulations, as these will be covered in your training and tests. You can refer to the brief guide driving in Dubai.
In conclusion, getting a driver’s licence in Dubai requires a few steps, but it’s a straightforward process. Remember to enroll in an approved driving school, attend theory and practical lessons, and pass the final road test to obtain your driver’s licence.
How to Renew the Driving License in Dubai?
In Dubai, driving licenses are generally valid for five years for residents and ten years for UAE citizens. It’s essential to renew your license before the expiry date to avoid fines and penalties. You can begin the renewal process up to one month before your license expires.
Step 1: The first step in the renewal process is to get an eye test from a certified optician or at an approved Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) testing center.
Step 2: Prepare the required documents such as
- Original expired driving license
- Passport and visa copy
- Emirates ID copy
- Eye test certificate
Step 3: Choose your renewal method: Online, In-Person at an RTA customer service center or at the authorized driving Institute:
If you opt for the online through the RTA website or mobile app, Upload the required documents and pay the renewal fee using a credit or debit card. You can choose to have your renewed license delivered via courier or pick it up at an RTA customer service center.
In can if you wish to renew your license In-person at an RTA customer service center, bring the required documents to an RTA customer service center, complete the necessary forms, and pay the renewal fee.
If it is through the authorized driving institutes, you can visit an authorized driving institute, such as Emirates Driving Institute (EDI) or Belhasa Driving Centre (BDC), with the required documents and pay the renewal fee.
Fees for the Renewal of Driving License in Dubai:
The standard fee for driving license renewal in Dubai is AED 300. Additional fees may apply for delivery or other services, depending on the renewal method you choose.
Depending on your chosen renewal method, you’ll either receive your renewed driving license on the spot (if you renew in-person at an RTA customer service center or driving institute), or it will be delivered to you via courier within a few days (if you renew online).
Always double-check the information on your renewed license to ensure it’s accurate.
How to Convert International Driving License in Dubai?
Step 1: Check if your country is on the approved countries list in Dubai.The list includes countries like the USA, UK, Australia, and many European countries. You can find the full list on the Dubai RTA website. If your driving license is not in English or Arabic, you may need to provide a translation from your consulate or embassy.
Step 2: Ensure your international driving license is valid and you should have held it for at least one year before applying for the conversion.
Step 3: Gather the required documents: a. Original driving license and a copy b. Passport with a valid UAE residency visa and a copyc. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsord. Two passport-sized photographs
Step 4: Get an eye test. It is mandatory to do the eyes test with any authorized optical shop, or even at some driving schools. Make sure the results are sent directly to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Step 5: Visit a driving school or an RTA Customer Happiness Centre with all your documents and eye test results. Some of the popular driving schools in Dubai include Emirates Driving Institute, Belhasa Driving Centre, Galadari Motor Driving Centre, and Dubai Driving Centre.
Step 6: Submit your documents and pay the fees at the driving school or the RTA centre. They will verify your eligibility and process your application. You’ll need to pay a conversion fee of approximately AED 360. Some nationalities may be required to undergo additional driving lessons or pass a road test before they can convert their license. Check with the RTA for specific requirements.
Step 7: Collect your new Dubai driving license. It’s valid for 2 years for expats and 10 years for UAE nationals. Don’t forget that your old international driving license will no longer be valid in Dubai. emember to follow the local traffic rules and regulations to ensure a safe and pleasant driving experience in Dubai.
How Can You Transfer Your Driving License File from One Emirate to Another?
If you were in the process of obtaining your driving license and would like to transfer your driving file to another emirates due to your professional or personal reasons you can do so by following some processes.
Here are the simple steps you can follow while transferring your driving file to continue the training in your new Emirate of residence:
Transferring the Driving File from Dubai to Another Emirate:
Step 1: Visit the driving institute you are currently enrolled and present the following documents:
a. Proof of residence from the emirate you are moving to
b. Original valid Emirates ID
Step 2: Pay the fees – Dh200 + Dh20 (knowledge and innovation fee)
Step 3: You will then receive a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the driving institute to transfer the file to another emirate. You may also need an additional NOC from your employer, if you are working, for certain categories of workers.
Transferring the Driving File from Another Emirate to Dubai:
Step 1: Visit an accredited driving institute in Dubai (list below) and present the following documents:
a. Electronic eye test
b. Original valid Emirates ID
Step 2: Pay the fees – Dh200 + Dh20 (knowledge and innovation fee)
Step 3: You will then receive a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the driving institute to transfer the file to another emirate.
Transferring the Driving File Between the other Emirate:
If you are moving within other Emirates, you would need to apply for the service through the Ministry of Interior (MOI).
- Valid Emirates ID copy
- NOC letter from the sponsor
- A passport copy
- The copy of the sponsor’s ID
MOI offers the service ‘Transfer a vehicle driving licence file from one Emirate to another’ through its online platforms – website and app – as well as through its customer happiness centres.
How to transfer the Driving file through the App:
Step 1: Download the App , once you have downloaded the app, log in with your registered account or UAEPass. You must register your mobile number, full name, date of birth, address information and Emirates ID number to create an account.
Step 2: Tap on the services page, and search for ‘Transfer a vehicle driving licence file from one Emirate to another’.
Step 3: Once you are logged in MOI account with your UAEPass, your personal information will automatically be filled.
Step 4: Upload the documents listed above and pay the fees which is approximately AED 200 electronically by linking your credit/debit card.
Learn how to apply for a Dubai driving license through the “Golden Chance” initiative, which allows you to skip the mandatory driving lessons and take the test directly.
Here are the steps to check for your eligibility and apply for a driving license in Dubai without the need to take driving lessons:
- Check your eligibility through an online service offered by RTA:
- Visit the official RTA website using this link: https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/home/rta-services/service-details?serviceId=3704306
- Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button.
- Enter your Emirates ID and its expiry date.
- Enter your mobile number and the One-Time Password (OTP) sent to you via SMS.
- Confirm your personal information by clicking on ‘Continue’.
- Enter your previous license details:
- Answer if you currently have a driving license or not.
- Select the country that issued your driving license from the drop-down menu.
- Enter the license details such as category, issue and expiry date.
- Select your driving license category as ‘Light Motor Vehicle’.
- Choose between two options:
- Golden Chance: You get one chance to take a road test and knowledge (theory) test without attending driving classes.
- Normal stage: You will attend driving lectures and practical classes followed by driving tests. The number of classes required may vary based on your driving experience.
How you can apply for the Golden Chance test:
If you are eligible to apply for the “Golden Chance” test, the RTA website will guide you through the following steps:
- Eye Test – You can take this test at any optical shop in the UAE that is registered with the RTA.
- Knowledge Test – Visit a registered driving institute in Dubai to take the knowledge or theory test. This test will assess your understanding of road signs, rules while driving on highways or busy junctions, and how to handle road hazards.
- Road Test – Once you pass the knowledge test, you can book your “Golden Chance” road test.
After successfully passing the road test, your driving license will be issued, and it will be valid for two years. Following the first renewal, your driving license will be valid for five years.
The estimated overall cost, as per the RTA website, is Dh2,000. However, the final price may vary depending on the details of your driving license and the driving school you choose.
If you fail the Golden Chance test, you will not be able to retake the test without attending driving classes. You will have to go through the standard process of acquiring a driver’s license in Dubai, which includes attending practical and theory lessons and passing the relevant tests. To learn more about the standard process of acquiring a driver’s license in Dubai, you can check the RTA website or consult with a registered driving school.
Is it possible to have your Dubai driving licence readily accessible, even if you happen to forget it at home?
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has introduced a new service that allows iPhone users to have their Dubai driving licence available on their phones. This means you don’t have to worry about forgetting your licence at home anymore. Even better, the service is completely free of charge.
Here’s a simple guide on how to add your Dubai driver’s licence to your phone:
Step 1: Register an online account with RTA
- Download the latest version of RTA Dubai app from the Apple App Store.
- Open the app and tap on the ‘Login/Register’ button on the homepage. Use your UAE Pass credentials to log in.
- If your UAE Pass and RTA account are not linked, you will receive a notification to link them. If you don’t have an RTA account, you can register by tapping on ‘Register’.
- Your personal details like full name, email address, nationality, and mobile number will be automatically filled in by UAE Pass. Verify these details and create a username and password.
- Enter the one-time password (OTP) sent to your mobile number via SMS.
Step 2: Access your digital driver’s licence card
- Tap on the ‘My Docs’ option at the bottom of your mobile screen in the app’s menu tab.
- If you haven’t linked your Traffic Code (TC) number to your account, you’ll be prompted to do so. Simply enter your TC number and licence issue date. If your UAE Pass and RTA account are already linked, you can skip this step.
- In the ‘My Licence’ tab, you will find your digital driver’s licence.
- Under the card, you’ll see the option ‘Add to Apple Wallet’. Tap on it. The app will display a digital version of your licence, which will resemble a horizontal format of your physical driver’s licence. All the information from your physical licence will be available on the digital version. Tap ‘Add’.
- Your card will be automatically saved to your Apple Wallet.
You can also use the same process to add your vehicle registration card to your Apple Wallet. Once done, both your driving licence and registration card will be accessible offline.
To access your digital driving licence and registration card offline, simply open the ‘wallet’ app on your iPhone. You’ll find your driving licence and registration card ready for use.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs on Dubai Driving License:
How much does it cost to get a driving license in Dubai?
The Dubai driving license cost may vary between AED 4,500 and AED 7,000 if you pass the final road test on the first attempt. However, it depends on your chosen driving institute.
How can I get Dubai driving license?
Is it difficult to get Dubai driving license?
Getting a Dubai driving license can be a challenging process for some individuals, especially if they are not familiar with the rules and regulations of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Which countries driving license is valid in Dubai?
In Dubai, visitors from certain countries can use their national driving licenses to drive legally. These countries are:
What languages are theory classes offered in ?
The theory classes offered at RTA-approved driving institutes are in three primary languages: Arabic, Urdu and English. Some institutes provide additional languages. E-learning options include English and Arabic.
Can I swap my license for a Dubai Driving License?
It is completely depends on your nationality and the country that issued your license, so it is advisable to check with the Dubai RTA or the embassy or consulate of your country for the most up-to-date information.
Is it possible to transfer my driving file from one institute to another?
Yes, it is usually possible to transfer your driving file from one institute to another in Dubai, provided that both institutes are authorized by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
What is the procedure for Dubai Driving License Renewal?
Get an eye test done
Prepare the required documents such as
Choose your renewal method: Online, In-Person at an RTA customer service center or at the authorized driving Institute and pay the fees.
How much is the RTA final road test fee?
The final road test fee is around AED 400 – 500.
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